Friday Speak Out!: Scribble Me a Writer!, guest post by Cathy Biggerstaff

Friday, June 22, 2012
Scribble Me a Writer!
by Cathy Biggerstaff

My one-year old great-granddaughter found a pen on Pawpaw’s end table beside the couch. She came toward me on the unsteady feet of a new walker, proudly holding her treasure in front of her. She grunted at me a few times like she thought I’d know immediately what she wanted. I finally decided she wanted some paper.

I gave her a few sheets from the stash I keep on the arm of my chair for story ideas. She took her paper and pen and wobbled toward the footstool, laid the paper down and made some marks on the paper. We clapped and said, “McKenna’s a big girl,” as she moved on to her next activity.

A few weeks ago my writer friend, Mary Jane, was journaling a prayer to God about her writing. She wrote, “Let your words flow through me. I want to be your scribe.” When she looked at the page, instead of writing “scribe” the word “scribble” had spilled out the end of her pen and onto the paper. She told me about it the next day and we laughed it off, not giving it much thought.

Now that the two unrelated events have occurred, and I’ve had time to process my thoughts, I see a correlation. Whether you write blogs, devotionals, grocery lists, or a bestselling novel, it all started with that first scribble you made on a blank piece of paper.

The learning process required trial and error and practice, practice, practice. From the first unintelligible scribble to coloring in the lines in a coloring book to making meaningful marks like letters and numbers, our eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills developed.

Our newfound skills moved us toward greater things. Letters became words, sometimes even spelled correctly, and the words became sentences. Then we learned we could put sentences together with the proper structure and produce paragraphs.

Those fledgling paragraphs became simple stories about what we did on our summer vacations. We continued assembling words in paragraphs and formed two-page essays and the dreaded fifteen-page research papers. We had a firm grasp of the rules and the motor skills we needed to become writers.

For those of us who were smitten with the love of writing as we traveled life’s educational path, the blank page is ours to fill. How do you fill your pages? Are you a budding writer or a well-seasoned author with numerous best sellers?

McKenna, with pen in hand, has begun her journey. Mary Jane’s faux pas may be God’s way of telling her to start with the basics and He will help her move forward from there, completing the work He has started in her.

Whatever success we find in the writing world, we must humbly remember --it all started with a scribble!

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Cathy Biggerstaff writes children's books and Christian devotionals. She is the Director of the Encouragers Christian Writers Group. In an effort to share the Gospel in ways that engage people, Cathy is part of the Silly Over the Savior (S.O.S.) Clown Troupe. She has been published in Mature Living Magazine, and various church-related publications. Follow her blog, Joyful Journey, at


Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Margo Dill said...

My daughter loves to sit on my lap while I am at the computer and take my pen and scribble in my calendar. :) Maybe she is a blossoming writer or a party planner. . .

Cathy Biggerstaff said...

I had a great time writing this blog post for Friday Speak-Out. If any of The Muffin readers would like to submit a guest post to my blog, please check out the criteria at: Thanks!

Cathy Biggerstaff said...

Thanks for stopping by, Margo. I'd love to know, years from now, what your daughter decides!

Marie said...

Cathy, your post reminds me to have a beginner's mind in my writing. How do I fill my pages? Like most writers, I just need to start. One word at a time, building those words into paragraphs into pages. Pages into chapters, or an article, or whatever it is I'm creating. Stepping back with a scribble could freshen me and my writing up!

Angela Mackintosh said...

How cute! "I want to be your scribble." Love that. It's true though, it all starts with writing something...anything. Thanks for sharing, Cathy! :)

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