Theresa Harvard Johnson

Copyright 2017 Theresa Harvard Johnson

Do you love the serious writer or scribe in your life? Here are some things you need to know to help them feel loved... and, to umm... protect yourself:

1. Do not take their ink pens, pencils or other writing instruments without asking. Every writing instrument is treasured, and they generally have a box of scrap pens, pencils just for you if asked. They may take the lack of concern for their trade tools as disrespect.

2. Do not write on neatly stacked papers or open paper packages without permission. Paper is not just paper to them. Different papers are for different purposes. A small pack of linen paper is a financial investment. Ask first and you will find out that there is a paper stack just for you amid their precious collection. 

3. Don't organize their books or magazines. Random stacks of books and magazines are not really random. They are relaxation and research in progress. Trust me. The moment you clean up and shelve things will be the moment you meet a very angry scribe and writer. There is ALWAYS, ALWAYS purpose in the stacks... no matter how many there are. 

4. There are no such things as extra journals. If you NEED one, please know your dedicated scribe will go buy you one as a gift. Just ask. Don't touch theirs. They love shopping for "anything scribal" and will take any excuse to do it. 

5. Do not touch the desk, drop things on the desk or move things from the desk. In fact, don't look at the desk. This is holy ground. They will notice and it could cause a mental break. Every scribe knows just how their stuff is organized. It IS a scribe thing. Wanna keep the day happy? Stay away from the desk. 

6. Learn to listen to scribe talk. At least try to do so. Scribes like talking about OfficeMax, other office supply stores and art stores. They live to talk about writing instruments, paper, tote bags, etc. Just listen. If you don't know what to say or do, just offer them a random drive-by to their favorite store and a gift card of any amount over $20. Trust me. You will have a friend for life. 

7. They love bookstores, library book sales, thrift store book shopping and library visits. This is the new "yard sale hunt" for them. Don't rain on their scribal parade in this area. Once a month is not too much! 

8. Never, EVER say they have too many books or compare them to hoarders. This is traumatizing and a sign of war. 

9. Understand that there is no such thing as writing too much or reading to much. It is like saying you talk too much. Don't do it!

10. There is no such thing as too expensive when it comes to pens, paper, notebooks, writing paper, totes, etc. The affinity you may have toward shoes and sports is escalated for scribes. They can only use certain pens when writing certain things and so forth. Don't push it!

11. They are not deliberately ignoring you. Scribes simply like alone time to record their thoughts, prayers or conversations with themselves. Some of them might just want to color code each line they write and do it slooooowwwwly. God. The time spent with pen in hand (or typing) is critical to their survival, sanity and livelihood. So please, don't take it personally.

12. If you "borrow" a pen without permission, they know it - even if they have a hundred more just like it. Know, however, that they are natural pen-hunters and will find what you took... even months later. Scribes NEVER forget.

13. That crumbled up paper, scribbled up envelope and that sticky note with scribbles and coffee stains is not trash. It might look like it is, but if it is still  "where the scribe left it," they might come back for it. So, just ask about it before grabbing it up and throwing it in the trash. This will not go well for you.

Have a good laugh fellow writers and scribes! (Especially those of you who are married, living with roommates and family!) We are more alike than you think. Feel free to add to the list and make us laugh more. By the way, here's a video of "missing pen" skit made by a couple of kids. Hilarious (to a scribe, writer)!


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