The Scribe Inside

I reread some of the material written during NaNoWriMo and I was surprised and puzzled as I do not recognize the writer. This happens a lot. I know it emerged from my brain, shot through my fingers onto the screen and now it is circling back the other way…yet I cannot remember writing it in the first place. I am impressed with the inner scribe’s insight, her use of prose and imagery. She seems to have a lot to say. But why can’t I remember that I wrote this?

Perhaps there are two or more scribes coexisting in time. Would it be different if I had to write and edit things by hand, taking hours to say what I can type in five minutes, would the end result be different? Is there something about typing it that changes how one thinks, writes, and edits? If you write a story by hand, like people used to (and I am sure there are still some old school writers out there, somewhere…), were you able to remember it better? Does typing it change what my short-term memory stores? I think it does. If you can touch type, you can stare out of the window (as I am doing right now) and words are converted from synaptic brain wave into virtual words.  Then, poof,  forgotten until I turn my head back to edit and spell check. Once done, it is committed to the computer, not to my memory. Imagine doing the same with pen and ink. If  a typewriter with carbon paper and correction tape or Liquid Paper is used, it means spending different time with the words and ideas. Does this alter how we perceive and store the memory of what is written?

I do not know the answers to these questions, of course, and I have no desire to use a typewriter or write a book by hand (no one can read my writing anyway). Instead, I am spending this extra time reading a book about character development (see my post about motivation Being on Target, I did dig out the book AND I am reading it).

For now I am content to let inner scribe observe, collect, and collate material, even if outer scribe does not know what to do with it, yet.


4 thoughts on “The Scribe Inside

  1. That is a question I myself have rumenated (and I rarely handwrite these days). The Muse of the written word must be able to channel very well with the advent of touch typing. S/he certainly seems to be in a smooth flow with you. The only drawback is when you forget to backup a particularly interesting stream of consciousness and then your laptop gets the willies and the hard drive has to be completely wiped and rewritten 😦 My only consolation is that as an instrument I lost what had been written, but it exists in the ether somewhere.

  2. I’ve always been very aware of this issue. I am a touch typist and can write in an almost stream-of-conciousness style that way. However I also always have a notepad with me when I am out. Ideas come in different ways, are recorded in different ways. Sometimes I make a note of an idea in the middle of the night on my cellphone, in a half-woken, half-dream like state. Then of course there is issue of ideas developing differently in different languages, depending on whether I had the original idea in English or in Swedish. Often things cannot be said in the same way, or with the same effect, in the other language.

  3. “The more we think the same thoughts, which produce the same chemicals, causing the body to have the same feelings, the more we become physically modified by our thoughts.”

    -Joe Dispenza, Evolve Your Brain

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