by Guest Blogger Dr. Sandor Kamel
23rd Level Uber-Scribe
Ancient Royal Sanctus Scriptorium
Writing is a defiant act. It spits in the eye of a culture that values material success and stunted intellectual growth, while condemning creativity and artistic expression. Ironically, it’s the creative weirdoes who will save civilization from its own destructive urges and usher in a new literary age.
A grim 2022 study on education found that 79 percent of American adults are literate and 21 percent illiterate. That same study revealed that 54 percent of American adults 16 to 74 years old have a literacy below the 6th grade level. Even more alarming, there are about 2.25 million American adults who are classified as functionally illiterate each year.
Functional illiteracy means people aren’t reading for pleasure, or don’t comprehend simple text or written instructions that could save their lives. While illiteracy rates have increased in America, worldwide illiteracy rates have declined, from 35 percent in 1970 to only 15 percent in 2015.
Low literacy was even worse in the past.
Consider ancient Egyptian society. Most people functioned as laborers, farmers, and tradesmen. They were servants, slaves, and soldiers. Current estimates indicate only 1 to 2 percent of ancient Egyptians were literate. These were the lucky ones, the posh educated royalty, the priests, and the scribes who could scratch hieroglyphs on papyrus or clay tablets that documented their civilization.
Scribes were coveted positions in ancient Egypt, as an anonymous royal scribe and chief overseer of cattle of Amen-Re, King of Gods, Nebmare-nakht wrote to his apprentice, the scribe Wenemdiamun circa 1350 – 1200 BC:
“By day write with your fingers; recite by night. Befriend the scroll, the palette. It pleases more than wine. Writing for him who knows it is better than all other professions. It pleases more than bread and beer, more than clothing and ointment. It is worth more than an inheritance in Egypt, than a tomb in the west… Happy is the heart of him who writes; he is young each day.”
Like ancient Egypt, writing in America is a rare privilege. Crafting a short story, plotting a novel, or writing an interoffice memo with grace and sophistication is not something the illiterate masses can do, and yet, for all our talents, we writers are mocked and ridiculed as “strange,” “weird,” or “losers.”
Why not look to our distant ancient Egyptian counterparts – the scribes of antiquity – and embrace our true craft in a diseased culture that doesn’t value the written word? Why can’t we transcend this drab plane of existence and yearn for writerly success and literary accolades just by practicing our writing in a way that builds on our talent instead of shames us for carrying several blank notebooks and staring bleary-eyed at our laptop screens?
ARISE, SCRIBES! YOUR TIME HAS COME!
If you’re weary of failure and writer’s block, fear not! I will share with you several important techniques and exercises for improving writerly success and enhancing your primal tale-telling skills.
These techniques, passed to me through ancient wisdom and tedious practice, are collectively known as the Way of the Scribe.
What is the Way of the Scribe? It’s for any writer, scribbler, wordsmith, hack, or author who is unpublished or published, who strives to tell their tales using the written word. It is for those who desire community with other writers of any genre or style, from prose, poetry, memoir, fiction or nonfiction. Scribes tell stories through writing. It’s both a skill and super power, so commit yourself fully before diving in.
The world is a horrific nightmare packed with uncertainty, chaos, and death. The publishing world is even worse. Rather than waste our time tearing other writers down, Way of the Scribe seeks to boost the endeavors for our fellow wordsmiths and support their work.
Unfortunately, the mediocre troglodytes manipulating our culture wishes to destroy us. They employ several devious tactics to numb minds and harden hearts. Instead of reaching for an enlightened age, these purveyors of the status quo wish to destroy the written word. They’re the politicians who cut funding for libraries, the school boards who ban books from classrooms, the ad executives and corporations selling us plastic contentment and fear. They keep us afraid and fill our time not with words or books but with sanitized propaganda, corporate pabulum, and bloodsports. They keep us angry with a dysfunctional political system where nothing gets accomplished by design.
When you’re not screaming at your TV, you’re listless and lazy, mere sloths suckling the teats of instant gratification. We’re gluttons for more food, more booze, more hallucinogenic drugs pumped directly into our deep fried candy bars. Forget that the nadir of the 21st century is making us depressed and defeatist. Forget every recent president has been a monster from the deepest bowels of horror fiction. Forget our rights are being torn and shredded before our eyes and rebranded to us as progress or preserving our sacred old-timey values.
Don’t you long for an escape from this sterile realm of spree shootings, mass incarcerations, and a planet hurtling towards certain oblivion?
Wouldn’t you enjoy creating your own world from your imagination where the good guys win for once? Where nobody judges your protagonists on who or how they love? Where the bullies finally get their comeuppance?
A well-crafted sentence can turn the world on its axis. Be the Scribe who writes that sentence! Your words matter. How you approach writing is as important as what you write.
So what if every query letter you write is rejected?
So what if your only published works are chapbooks made at your local copy shop?
So what if your books don’t sell or are review-bombed on Goodreads?
If you’re hungry for writing, the Way of the Scribe will feed you a hearty meal and tip the waiter, because nourishing you is the first step towards satisfaction.
But a Scribe’s life comes with a sobering realization, which is…
THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY WILL KILL YOU
Does the world want your stories? No. The world wants a hot shower and a sandwich. The world wants sex on a waterbed and the director’s cut of Lord of the Rings. That’s what they world wants.
But the world needs – needs – your words. The world needs what you’re writing. They need to read your unpolished, sloppy, shitty first drafts. They need your raw words because even your worst writing is better than anything they’ll ever experience in their monotonous lives.
And you’re the Scribes who’ll deliver it to them. You. Not some public relations hack or hollow-eyed reporter. Nope! You are. You, with your notebooks crammed with half-baked ideas and hastily scribbled notes. You, with that manuscript you’ve been slacking off with for years. You, who spends hundreds of bucks on seminars just so you can craft the perfect pitch and rub elbows with a real-live literary agent. And even you, the successful novelist whose work languishes thanks to writer’s block and who thirsts for that long overdue royalty check.
Forget about your bosses, politicians, or celebrities selling you lies through infomercials and cultural porn. To them, you’re nothing but a ravenous mouth eating and drinking and smoking anything it can sell you. The 21st Century will break you in ways you can’t imagine. It will sell you into indentured servitude for a bacon cheeseburger. It will shoot your knee caps for a favorable Yelp review. It will dissect your guts and eat your marrow and put you on TV just for a chance to feel appreciated and alive.
But it will sap your creativity, steal your mind, and grind your body up into a fine paste because it can.
How will you halt this backslide into irrelevance and protect yourself from the soul-sucking forces that want you dead?
Understanding the Way of the Scribe and why writing is important in this great stagnant age is your first stop on this new writerly journey. But first, some history…
A PROPHETIC VISION OR HILARIOUS FEVER DREAM?
Let it be known, this is the first vision I had that begat the Way of the Scribe.
I was sitting at my writing desk, reading another rejection from an agent, when a bright light bathed the room. Insecurity and doubt faded and all around me, a calm aura filled the room.
Thoth, the ibis-headed Egyptian god of writing and wisdom appeared. He was joined by my personal Muse, an old woman who looks like Ruth Gordon clad in a gown and smoking a cigar. The ghost of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson also accompanied them.
Confusion and fear left me and I experienced time as one blissful moment.
“What is the reason for this intrusion?” I asked, which probably sounded like, “Who the hell are you and how did you monsters get in here?!”
Thoth told me not to be afraid, and introduced himself as Thoth, Ancient Egyptian God of Writing, Wisdom, and Magic, the Overseer and Commander of All Scribes.
“Can I just call you Thoth?” I asked.
Thoth agreed that would probably be best.
My Muse ridiculed me for failing at writing and puffed cigar smoke in my face.
“You’ve gone soft, boy. Look at you! Some writer! Another rejection in a pile of over 78. What kind of lousy writer gets 78 rejections and not one stinking partial request? How does one man write so much garbage?” the Muse taunted.
Hunter S. Thompson’s ghost read through my manuscript and giggled to himself. It might have been the peyote or acid, but something tells me it was the quality of my writing he found amusing.
“I worked hard on this. It’s my novel,” I announced with pride.
“Novel! It stinks! You’re failing every time and not improving. Why don’t you quit?” The Muse blows more smoke at me.
Tears welled in my eyes. “Because I like writing. I’m a writer,” I sniffed.
“Writer? Jesus Christ, man. This isn’t writing. It’s an abortion set to words. My God, if I ever turned this into the Rolling Stone, they would’ve thrown me off the top of the Empire State Building. This is pure tripe,” the ghost said.
“Hey, writing is hard.” I ripped the pages from the ghost’s hand. “I’m trying, but nothing works. Maybe I shouldn’t write. Maybe it’s too difficult.”
The Muse slapped me across the face. I reeled backwards and caressed my stinging cheek.
“Snap out of it, sweetie! You think you’re the only palooka to get hung up on writing? Think of all the pencil-pushing hacks scribbling shitty poems or typing shitty novels. Are these self-deluded clods quitting? Hell no! They double down and continue because to not to it means they fail,” the Muse insisted.
“Why are you telling me this?” I asked.
“Because we’ve got something for you, sunshine. A secret for writing passed down from generation to generation,” the Muse replied.
With a sweep of his majestic arms, Thoth produced a massive tablet inscribed with hieroglyphs that pulsed with an otherworldly light. The tablet, which was also on fire, flickered and burned until the Egyptian god extinguished it.
There, etched into the living rock, were the words WAY OF THE SCRIBE, which I instantly comprehended as if by magic.
“O, mighty Thoth, what does this mean?” I asked. “Why are you bequeathing me this tablet?”
All three explained that writing is a dying art form, and to revitalize it and write with passion draws from ancient traditions long gone. While the priggish prudes seek convention and conformity, the Way of the Scribe seeks only self-discovery and dialog with the inner writer, the lazy wordsmith inside us all who has abandoned their quest for notoriety and instead heads down a road of enlightenment and challenges.
“Walk the Way of the Scribe,” the Muse told me, “and you will truly be at one with the Craft of Writing.”
The tablet transformed into a writing journal nondescript and ordinary writing journal, because lugging around a huge stone tablet would be silly.
Thoth told me I am the one who carries forth the Way of the Scribe to educate and enlighten those writers or would-be writers to not abandon their sacred charges, and finish their work.
“Why entrust me with this awesome responsibility? Aren’t there enough writing craft books, seminars, and podcasts out there? Advice and tips on improving your writing are plentiful. What makes this Way of the Scribe so special?” I said.
The Muse puffed on her stogie and told me they looked upon the land and saw writer Twitter and the arguments and debates and shook their heads. It’s a community of opinions and boy, do writers have opinions.
“You writers are creatures of habit bogged down by your own conventions on the writing industry. Oxford comma or not? Should writers read books and still call themselves writers? Can you write characters of other races, gender identities or backgrounds? Is cultural appropriation good or bad? You fill your newsfeeds with awful takes and lofty pronouncements that are utterly meaningless except to academics and writers who crave rigid structure over a more fluid, free-flowing writing technique,” the Muse said.
“Debate is healthy. It educates while fostering discussion,” I retorted.
“Sure, man. But there’s a disconnect with newbie writers and old pros who feel lost in this landscape, who are confused by what they should do instead of what they must do,” the ghost of Hunter S. Thompson told me.
Thoth put a reassuring hand on my shoulder and said the Way of the Scribe may be an ancient order, but it’s one that absolutely works. It’s so perfect and flawless in its conception and design that anything else is a pale comparison and should be immediately discarded.
“That’s quite the claim,” I said.
“It’s true. Once you’re a Scribe, the secret of writing success is yours. Might as well toss your MFA in the trash. This is all you need to know about writing mastery.” The Muse sucked on her cigar and blew smoke from the corner of her mouth.
“Is there any deep meaning behind your presence? Why Thoth, my Muse, and Hunter S. Thompson’s ghost? Is there a spiritual significance to your forms?” I asked.
The Muse shrugs. “If you’re gonna make it weird, make it as weird as possible,” she said before all three of them vanished with a single thunderclap.
DESCEND INTO THE WRITING CHAIR KICKING AND SCREAMING
Nobody really likes to write at first. It demands patience, time, and discipline. Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, and spill your emotions onto the screen. Any endeavor worth doing must be met with begrudging resistance and plenty of full-throated swearing.
The first step for any writer is channel your rage and anger at the person you used to be. Since writing is a transformative act, you change from a non-writer to a writer. There are several physiological and psychological differences between writers and non-writers, that the Sandor Kamel Foundation has studied in our fortified laboratory complex in Zurich. Knowing your body and mind will change as a result of embracing the writerly life can help you avoid sudden shifts in attitude and repress certain physical urges.
Writing isn’t a hobby or a dilettante pursuit; it is a discipline, a skill, and a craft. Serious writers can lug their laptops into uncharted wilderness and merge a week later with a thoroughly drafted novel, sixteen comps, and a dozen ideas for future books. They are relentless in pursuing the story and will even go without food, water, or sleep to achieve their objectives.
How does one get this laser focused and fanatical?
It takes determination, devotion, and also a lot of practice. Like the Olympian athlete, who conditions themselves with rigorous exercise, Scribes must hone their craft by writing. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Wrong! One can’t pick up a pen and claim they’re a writer. One must pick up a pen and actually write with the Way of the Scribe.
The word pixies will only manifest if you only believe in them, if the Scribe summons them into existence and tears the universal fundament apart with their bare hands. You must strip away your anxiety and manifest a reality where words are your friends and constant companions, a realm unlike anything in the vacuous meat world you inhabit.
Way of the Scribe Meditation and Mental Cleansing Oath
For times when writer’s block slays your creativity and renders you an inactive, listless blob of writer soup, recite the following Meditation and Mental Cleansing Oath. Ideally, for this to work and channel the ancient writing gods, it must be said while the writer either is seated in front of a keyboard, typewriter, or while holding a notebook, pen, or other writing implement. Close your eyes. Sit perfectly still. Envision a world where all of your mortal writerly goals succeed. This might be publication, securing a literary agent, or landing on The New York Times Bestseller list. Whatever your far-fetched, impossible writer goals, manifest them mentally, and shout or scream the following:
Hear me, Muse!
I am a Scribe, a seeker of your wisdom, a writer of words!
Channel your might through my puny mortal appendages!
Let me be chronicler, wordsmith, willing acolyte!
Shun writer’s block, apathy, and make the world not dull my enthusiasm for life!
Bringer of wisdom and keeper of knowledge!
Especially the weird stuff that defies market expectations!
Make my writing clear, my words spelled correctly, and the editing painless!
Guide me through the submission process and make all query letters shine!
Give me strength for crafting a coherent sentence and a thrilling synopsis!
Allow me times for respite and deliver me from the social media trolls who sap my energy!
Fortify my fingers that they may write without cramping, toughen my mind so that it may think of really cool shit without tiring, and give me the wit to trample any critic who dares defile my writing!
For this I commit my words to the page, and acknowledge you in my next novel!
After the scribe recites (screams) this, open your eyes. Notice your confidence level has risen. You’re not intimidated by the prospect of stunning failure anymore. You are physically stronger, mentally resilient, and can probably run through walls.1
You now may begin writing, with or without an outline. Since your brain is operating at full capacity, outlines may be unnecessary.
These sacred words, or a variation of them, might be uttered whenever you approach a challenging writerly task, such as editing, planning a new story, or submitting your work to publishers. With care, you might master the sacred art of mind cleansing and writerly channeling, as taught by a secret cadre of ink-stained monks who dwell in a fortified compound in the Andes and who only speak every other Thursday.
All translations of this incantation are available in several languages and printed on a handy index card for your convenience.
YOU HAVE WRITERLY POWERS INSIDE YOUR MEAT PRISON
Humans are divided into two basic structures: writers and everybody else. What separates writers from everybody else is a nagging penchant for creating stories with the written word. Thus, while most people aren’t bothered in the shower with outlining their next novels or agonizing over the details from a fictitious person’s past, writers are. The fact that anybody can be a writer is both wondrous and terrifying.
Drawing from your writer chakra, the Third Oumnum, located between your forehead and your spinal column, is a concentrated energy. If tapped, this energy courses from the physical lizard brain which records all primitive physical reactions, to the highest creator brain, towards your procrastination-dampeners and the Sloth Zone, where irritability, procrastination, and general non-writing activities manifest. Daily writing bypasses these self-destructive urges and cancels distractions, leading to greater productivity and larger word count.
Don’t wait for inspiration to strike; hunt it down, drag it back to your lair, and nail it onto the page. Waiting for inspiration is like dancing in the rain; it might feel cleansing and fun, but you look stupid doing it.
Plunge into writing; scared shitless Scribes are the ones writing. You can be afraid of writing. The notion of creating anything and showing it to another sentient being should paralyze you with fear. Yet the act of writing, even when your pants fill with liquid terror, is better than not writing at all.
Scribes write through their fear. They write even when every instinct in their bodies tell them to flee screaming. Your muscles seize up, your brain freezes, you sit there a catatonic mess. Until you don’t. Until the force of generations before you, the dead writers of the past, blast a mighty chorus in your inner ears and tell you to write and draw from a creative wellspring.
Don’t avoid fear. Grab fear by the nipples and squeeze hard. Make fear your bitch. Write what scares you until you break down and sob uncontrollably onto the keyboard. Scribes who take no chances are dull writers, their prose limp and unimaginative, their stories stale and hackneyed. Don’t be like everyone else, you scribbling weirdos. Challenge yourself every time you write.
Creativity is like a contracting sphincter: what you let in or out of it is your choice, so use discretion or be as carefree as you want. You’re in control of your writing career.
CLEAVE OPEN YOUR SKULL AND SPILL FORTH THOSE IDEAS
It’s no secret that the best ideas ever produced reside inside your brain. But what makes a writer’s brain different from non-writers? Aren’t they all pink and squidgy and gross? Writers are hardwired differently to feel more; they get intense bursts of elation, joy, sorrow, anger, and empathy over, say, the mind of a CEO which is focused mainly on money, power, and sadism.
How does one tap into the vast creative wells and let them spring forth geyser-like into existence? Would creative writing exercises get the juices flowing? Perhaps free writing where the writer spills any old gobbledygook onto the page?
The most surefire way to free ideas from your mind is by cleaving them directly from your skull. 2
This is accomplished by using the appropriate implements of Tools of the Unburdening; a black pen for writing, a Red Pen of Doom for editing, a journal, and a fully sharp and tempered Blade of Cleaving.
Once these are assembled, the Scribe must burrow deep into their own minds, remove the brilliant ideas manifesting within, and record them onto the page through a process
Cleave open your skull with the wordsmiths of a more enlightened age. Manifest your ideas into written words and birth something hitherto unknown on this dying planet. Writer folk are the best folks, born and bred for struggle and tedious mental labor, but the results are oh so worth it.
Let they naysayers and critics and haters burn in their own mediocrity. You’re a Scribe.
WRITERLY SUCCESS IS YOURS IF YOU WANT IT
I have seen writers overwhelmed by rejections who simply give up and abandon writing. They were intimidated and disappointed by failure.
As hard as this is to hear, writing is highly competitive. Successful writers out there whose writing earned them mansion money are extremely rare.
If you don’t quit, you’ll write a few books, receive a few reviews, and hit your stride. Or you’ll languish unread in coffee houses and bar stools, screaming your book ideas to vagrants as you wrestle them for that one plump chicken wing.
Failure is almost guaranteed. You write, you fail, you get better. You strive for some relevance, a desperate hope your writing resonates with a publisher or agent. You have so many stories inside you that your body is about to burst open and shower the computer screen with your innards.
Prepping for eventual rejection strengthens your resolve and manages your expectations. Keep your sorrow in check by mentally scrubbing those self-destructive thoughts before they manifest.
THEY’RE NOT REJECTING YOU, THEY’RE REJECTING YOUR WRITING
Before every submission, reciting the Way of the Scribe Official Rejection Meditation is essential for purging your mind of negative thoughts and self-defeating delusions. Without this critical step, your fragile mammalian brain is susceptible to defeatism, fatalism, self-doubt, nihilism, sabotage, impostor syndrome, depression, and a general case of the gloomies that’s both unproductive and hazardous to mind and body.
The Official Rejection Meditation, like all other verbal exercises presented here, should be shouted at the top of your lungs. Let the universe know you mean business. You’re no timid scribbler or frivolous writer. You’re a primal force careening through time and your words are but a clarion call to a diseased civilization. Let every publisher and agent know you’re a Scribe. Safeguard yourself against ill effects by yelling this before you hit “submit” on every piece you send out:
Way of the Scribe Official Rejection Meditation
I am a writer, damnit.
Creator of this work.
Through my puny body great ideas flow.
I give unto you these words for your consideration.
If, by change, you turn away from them,
I will be fine.
I will still be here.
I will live to write another day.
To me my words are sacrosanct.
They are awesome.
But you might reject my writing due to theme, due to space, or perhaps they’re not what you’re looking for at this time.
If you say no, it’s not a reflection on me.
I am a writer, damnit.
I will live to write another day.
After you shout these inspiring, soul-cleaning words, bang a gong, ring a bell, or blast Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” to orient your mind and body and hit send. What do you have to lose, right? You have entered the query trenches or the submission trenches and will soon know rejection’s bitter sting or be blessed with an acceptance. May your words ascend far and wide, valiant Scribe!
HARNESS YOUR FRUSTRATION INTO A BEAUTIFUL CALAMITY
Writers aren’t born, they’re forged from hardship, alcohol, and spite. The angry writer is one who refuses to be silenced despite their abysmal Goodreads reviews. Let your words gush forth like a deluge, inundating the unworthy. Hear their pathetic cries as you finish writing another novel. Laugh at the way they doubt your talent as you make another story sale. Delight in their hate while your legacy as a Scribe grows. Only through the concept of creative spite may you flourish and grow your brand. Deny the skeptics their rage and write your own story. Be the hero you were always meant to be.
No agent? No sales? No hot tub filled with Scandinavian supermodels?
You can be a Scribe without these trappings. All you have to do is dig deep and manifest your words. Birth them from nothingness with your own bitterness, a splash of booze, and pettiness usually reserved for feuding celebrities or rancorous politicians.
Manifest your ideas into words by making those half-baked stories in your head realities! Usher them forth be sitting down and writing them. Drag those stubborn ideas into existence.
What’s that, you say? People doubt you? They think all writers are loners and lunatics? They laugh at your many failures and say writing is a waste of time, that only geeks and nerds write, that you’re ugly and will never have success attracting a mate and will die alone and shriveled on a motel mattress?
I’ve got news for you, dear Scribe.
Nobody’s opinions on your writing matter except yours.
You define yourself, not your parents, your spouse, your family, or the snotty neighbors. It’s you the whole time!
Don’t like low ratings or reviews?
Who cares? Goodreads or Amazon didn’t write your damn books. You did! You powered through using sheer determination, your pig-headed stubbornness, and a desire to tell the best story you could.
Agents rejecting your queries?
Who cares? Keep sending them after polishing and revising. Let your name be seared into their retinas for all time. Let them quake in their Manhattan offices that you are a writer with something important to say, a tenacious Scribe and living word geyser who is both prolific and determined.
Your words are worth fighting for because you are not another miserable hack with self-destructive fantasies. You are a miserable hack whose lifeblood never ends and despair never visits. Gird your sexy loins for battle, sharpen your pencils, and boot up your laptops because you’ve got words to sell!
DON’T JUST KILL YOUR DARLINGS – STITCH THEIR LIFELESS HUSKS TOGETHER INTO A PATCHWORK WORD-ABOMINATION
AND FRIGHTEN THE VILLAGERS
All of us are mavens, all of us are hacks. We simultaneously write like geniuses and write like clods. We are both struck with shimmering brilliance and dumbfounded by our own stagnation.
The secret s knowing who you will be at any given writing session and strive for improvement.
The so-called “vomit draft” is purging words onto the page. Some call it free writing, others automatic writing. These vomit drafts rid your body of the words as quickly as humanly possible. Just write. Don’t even think about what you’re doing. Vomit drafts, like their namesake imply, aren’t pretty and need plenty of cleaning up. Know this before attempting your morning word purge.
Not everything you write during these free-wheeling writing benders will work. Such is the life of a Scribe, of a heady wordsmith cresting the wave of their own personal creative tsunami.
If something doesn’t work, cut it out, but save it in a separate folder. Drag these abominations out later and use them later. Your words never truly die. They reincarnate into other, more interesting forms, mutating and changing with time and pressure. Your previous word goblins shall transform into brilliant unicorns, dazzling gems readers will savor.
THE ASPIRING WRITER IS A FALLACY AND SHOULD BE BURIED
You are not an aspiring writer.
If you are writing anything you are a writer. Calling yourself an aspiring writer is a falsehood propagated by the troglodytes to dissuade and shatter your spirits. The troglodytes want you to abandon your writerly dreams. They want you to give up writing because when you don’t write, they win. They dictate the soul-crushing numbness of a culture circling the drain. They hate writers because writers inspire people. Writers want you to transcend the culture, push boundaries, and live your best lives with infinite possibilities. Troglodytes want you to fail. They crave obedience, supplication to a reactionary dystopia, and vacuous consumers bleeding for a corrupt system.
Don’t aspire to write. Really write! Start your own revolution! Every time a writer doubts themselves and quits, the troglodytes celebrate by feasting on the bones of kittens and puppies.
It’s your choice. Will you hover between self-doubt and defeatism, or forge a lonely path towards literary brilliance and writerly victory?
The choice is yours.
Remember, you are not an aspiring writer.
You are a writer. Full stop!
TAKE RESPITE WHEN YOU TIRE, BUT DON’T LET WRITING STRAY FAR
The act of writing is itself, a conundrum, a riddle wrapped in a riddle, stuffed in a drainpipe, and surreptitiously sprinkled into an enchilada. When a Scribe tires of writing, it is the body telling them to relax and seek respite instead of pushing themselves.
Punctuating your writing stretches with inactivity may seem unproductive. It may contradict the Way of the Scribe. I assure you, it does not.
The human body’s threshold for any mental or physical activity is capped. We must sleep and eat to regain and transplant our energy. Our physical forms collapse exhausted and fatigued if we push ourselves too hard.
Even a Scribe must rest and recharge their writerly aura. Like a battery, these auras, which drive the Scribe toward writing, get worn down and burned out. Resting for a day or two refills the aura, and rebuilds mental clarity and focus like a trendy vitamin supplement. Combined with hydration, naps, and laughter, rest periods – which we call the Undulatus Hiatus – which fluctuate based on the Scribe’s preference.
Just because you’re not writing doesn’t mean you should not be thinking about writing. While lounging around or taking nature walks can invigorate your aura, there’s still plenty going on inside your head. Your brainwaves perceive things evenly, but writing still lingers in the background. In this relaxed state, you may jot down a few notes, or think about your manuscript in a new, carefree way. Far from the tension of actually writing, you engage yourself in thinking about writing. Then you take a nap.
Feeling refreshed, the Scribe emerges from their Undulatus Hiatus and return to their writing with renewed purpose.
THE WAY OF THE SCRIBE MIGHT BE THE LAST WRITER GUIDE
YOU’LL NEED BECAUSE CIVILIZATION IS ENDING
I didn’t sleep naked in a glass pyramid under a blood moon just so I could have elemental forces fortify my body against entropy. I also did it to gain clarity and perspective about my own writing. Sometimes you have to defy your own expectations and come back swinging if you want to hit your target.
By applying techniques described herein can any writer ascend to levels of success and fame previously unknown to them.
The only way you can truly fail at writing is to abandon writing. You’ll never publish anything if you stop writing.
We are all sages and whores, heroes and zeroes. How we spend our time on this revolting rock in the brief time we have is all that matters. The only thing a Scribe wants as they hurdle through time and space towards oblivion is to tell stories and share their words. If that isn’t a noble goal, then I don’t know what is.
The world has passed into a dangerous age. It is a preview to the apocalypse but shown in high-def with commercial breaks. Scribes play an important part in rolling back this decay; through their words, they create new realities and worlds for readers. A world without books is the closest thing to Hell as you can imagine. You can turn the tide of illiteracy by writing the next bestselling novel. What action-packed, thrilling, poignant, horrific, saucy tale will you tell?
A good writer writes. A great writer writes and reads. A supreme writer writes, reads, and knows what books will sell five years from now.
Writing is a discipline, a teacher, a funny man on a unicycle handing out kittens. If you don’t see writing as enriching and bettering your life, then maybe the Scribe’s life isn’t for you. But if you are compelled – willed by nameless, unspeakable forces – to write, then you’ll write. Writing isn’t just a hobby or activity, through it can be for some. For the true Scribe, writing is a calling and mission. It’s what you were put on this dying Earth to do: birth word-babies unto a hostile world and repopulate the land with your creative energy.
The Way of the Scribe helps you achieve writing clarity and removes self-doubt and impostor syndrome. Practice and absorb these valuable tenants and let your words pour forth. Your stories matter, if not to this jaded planet, but to yourself.
Arise, Scribes! The time for writing is now!
Dr. Sandor Kamel is founder and disseminator of the Way of the Scribe and chairman of the Sandor Kamel Foundation, which trains writers through seminars, workshops, and ritualistic beatings. The author of over a thousand books ranging from science fiction and fantasy to quantum theory and metaphysical studies, Dr. Kamel’s work has won major awards and accolades from the international writing press. He currently chairs the writing program at Brickman University where he ascends another plane of existence every semester.
- Do not try running through walls. Don’t do it.
2. Do not cleave anything from your skull. For Heaven’s sake, keep sharp objects away from skull, you numpty.