REVIEW AT LARGE FEBRUARY, 2017
Scribble Ink reaffirming the legacy of the ‘Word’.
“There is this thing within the industry, where for many writers a quiet place amongst the crowded function is required.”
By Jahvin Morgan
As far as expressive interpretation might see it — imposing words describing and analysing all kinds of matters— writing can be best defined as literature acting the character to life, where multi-layered innuendos and prose is decided by its élan and enthusiasm. From a legacy perspective, with story writing being something that has always been embedded in the creative human DNA, with 2017 upon labelled calendars, and a social appetite for creative literature hungrier than it has ever been, when freedom of speech remains a concept still open for discussion there is this thing within the industry, where for many writers a quiet place amongst the crowded function is required, Scribble Ink, courtesy of Nadia Gasper, dedicated to mentoring writers offers, as it is nowadays, insights about the construct and the reality of the appreciative art.
An expansive question; of sorts, what is Scribble Ink?
Scribble Ink Story Consultancy is a social enterprise dedicated to mentoring writers throughout their creative process. I accidentally started the business in 2010 when experimenting with freelancing options and to my delight it’s evolved and become a magical realm where writers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can indulge in workshops, one-to-one consultations and eCourses
The essence of a good story, often, if not always is rooted in how well a story develops, what is it about story telling that provokes your imagination?
I love how storytelling breathes life into what sometimes feels like colourless existence, allowing us to time travel and reach paradigms we cannot reach when chained to the confines of a 9-5, over technologized, sexualised, compartmentalised society. Storytelling (if done well) does more than revive the imagination – you should be able to taste, hear, feel and smell everything a character or storyteller can. I want to empathise, take things personally, find myself defending a protagonist, and forget I’ve put the dinner on because he or she needs to be read, watched or heard. Only then, I know I’ve been provoked, and inspired. THERE IS NOTHING BETTER!
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I don’t remember there being any isolated epiphany – a ray of light beaming down on me or the voice of God (which I imagine would sound like Judy Dench in the morning and Morgan Freeman at night) whispering in my ear. I think it’s a combination of moments that have occurred at the right place and time. When I was seven, I knew I wanted to write. I just remember that being age when I made it official and would stress, ‘that’s not what I’m going to be when I grow up, that’s what I am.’ I was fascinated by fairy tales; my poor dad must’ve retold Goldie Locks, the Three little Pigs and his own version of Peter Rabbit countless times! I never just ‘watched’ a film; I’d watch it over and over again, picking it apart, asking myself questions and incorporating elements of the story structure into my own writing. I’d write letters and short poems; not really knowing what they were, but always feeling cathartic during and once they were done. My brother is a musician and we’d often ‘make productions together.’ He’d compose something on his drum set or keyboard and I’d write the lyrics, then we’d showcase the outcome to our parents, who smiled from start to finish, but now that I’m older, I’ve come to realise just how hard it must’ve been for them to keep a straight face! Then little moments throughout childhood assured me that I had a talent for writing – winning competitions, getting A*s on essays even though I really struggled academically, attending arts-based summer schemes and being praised for my enthusiasm and natural abilities…the same could not be said for my maths, a subject that made me anxious and scarred my school days. Writing has always been a given for me. In terms of its power? I’ve felt it many times when I’ve written, I’ve experienced it when attending poetry slams and powerful theatre productions, when watching thought provoking films and inspiring web series and when reading the most magical novels, whether fiction or nonfiction. I guess I’m also privileged to see how powerful it is when taught to young people or nourished in aspiring or practising writers – hence why Scribble Ink is more than just a job to me.
What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
A combination of vulgar nepotism and discrimination. I’m all for helping the people you
know, but there’s no reason why you can’t be given a position of power based on merit. It annoys
me when I learn that someone is given a seat at the table or worse, your seat has been given
to them, solely because of who they know and not what they know. Further, I hate it when
writers feel pigeon holed – rejected by well-established literary agents or publishing houses,
theatres or production companies because ‘they don’t need another BAME writer’ or said
BAME writer does not want to cover ‘BAME issues’. I’ve personally had this experience and I
know of others who share this frustration. It’s insulting, patronising and extremely regressive.
However, it’s inspired some great writing material, and has led to wonderful works of art as
we’ve seen with BAME artists dominating the web series, podcast and self-publishing formats.
What does literary success look like to you?
Success is subjective. In an academic context, success might be achieving an A*, while
for others, it’s scrapping a D despite struggling with the complexities of English language.
For some, success is having the pleasure of writing a revelatory text that shakes world views,
ignites purpose and encourages hope, whereas for others, it’s about providing an
escape route – text that evokes short bursts of happiness and laughter for those crammed on a bus first thing Monday morning. For some, it’s having the courage to share a blog post that exposes a traumatic memory, knowing that one reader might empathise and send encouragement, rethink bad ideas or seek help, although for others, it’s the satisfaction in knowing 10 people read your blog, therefore, 10 people know you exist. For some, success is a bestselling novel, a commissioned script, a sold out poetry slam or commencement speech, and yet for others, it’s a post-it note stuck on the fridge with the words ‘I Love You!’ – perhaps that’s the last thing she’ll ever read, and those were the best words she ever felt. Writers are people who write. Therefore, literary success is based on the ability to humanise circumstance, express thought and articulate emotions, no matter how quiet, or resounding that text may be.
Whispermaze is in the habit of honestly, question is do you Google yourself? And if so why?
LOL! I’ve googled Scribble Ink and my blog ‘The Chronicles of Nadia’ on occasion, just to see how high they are in the search engine, but that’s about as far as I’ve gone. I hate looking at images of me, and it’s always the worst ones that come up when on these searches, so I try and keep self-googling to a minimum.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Ease off the sweets, less TV, speak up, stop worrying, accept that you don’t believe what you can’t believe (I was raised Christian and it took a lot for me to break free), and don’t worry about maths – you can file a tax return without an advanced understanding of simultaneous equations!
Talking to Nadia about Scribble Ink’s insights and intention, via new-age, online platforms communicating a traditional practice, in the essence of writing’s truest form what imposed its will was Scribble Ink responding to the question, that asks what of the industry now? When the industry has to cope with a new language, other authors, new ways of saying things in the traditional method the ‘word’ has become accustomed to, a coda to an unfinishable story, something of importance to everybody when story telling still conveys the most basic form of human interaction; the ability and the wanting to share what’s actually going on in anybody’s head, as inarticulately, perfectly articulated as that, only for us keen readers to reap the benefits of this ultimately, beautiful story telling collaboration.