How to write a SCAB – By @joeyfraser95
By Joe Fraser
How to write a SCAB
Set the scene
I first mention a moment. A space. A time and place where this moment occurred. Can you imagine that? Something as insignificant as a fly going past your ear has affected me on not only a personal level but a mental, physical and most importantly, creative one. Let me tell the story.
I start before the SCA course. Something that at the time I thought to be small but now, with the benefit of hindsight and 2 months of rigorous creative training is very big. It was with a friend – well – more than a friend. However, that part isn’t important, what is important is the theory and lesson they conveyed to me that I will lay out in this latest SCAB. What I’ve learned from them will sound important up on a website with my picture above it but really what I have to say is nothing. But simply through this way of writing, of engaging with you in this formal and digital format, you will feel something. You might even learn something on the way.
Make everything funny
Before I kick off, I’m going to make a quick, funny anecdote about myself that will ease the tension between the feeling you have reading my personal blog and what I have in writing it. Something about my gangly height or my love of baked beans. I may get a little shy by it. You may feel embarrassed to read it. We’ll have a giggle. But it’s only a small side-note so that when I return to the serious stuff it hits a bit harder.
Stuff to show you’re genuine
Here’s the serious stuff. I’m going to mention my grandad. He died before the course started but I’m bringing this SCAB on track by making it intellectual and emotional at the same time. I didn’t know him well so his theories on life – which I’m sure were important and interesting to a SCAB reader – I have no idea about. Now I’d like to think that by telling you all this and about this man I’m inspiring you to think of things in a different way, making you reconsider how you live your life and how to approach the rest of the SCA year but what I’m really doing, what I’m really really really really really really really doing is just trying to reach that 500-word count.
Where was I? It doesn’t matter, what matters is the place I felt I was in at the time. Security and family are abstract concepts that mean different things to different people but in the context of this SCAB they mean nothing because although this is all about my grandad I have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m struggling, panicking while all the time trying to convey a sense of straightforwardness that I, in reality, have no idea how to portray. I’m a complete fraud! This is how I feel now. Because although I pretend I knew the man I really didn’t. So why even write a SCAB about him? I could write total gibberish because the man that, to this day, has had such a strong impact on my Mum, still makes my Nan cry and makes my uncle feel proud, I never knew.
The point of your SCAB in practice
Gooble gabble. Wacka flacka. Hippity scippity. And a hippity scippity to you. Choo chewy chewison. Wildcat. National geographic. Bruce Willis. Flooby flee nah yer rikkety smelly smoo. Mastery. The sensory nervy artery veiny ventricle capri-sun wishy washy woo hush hush hee hee wah wah nah nah I wanna have it no you cannae but why la la salami.
At least try and be serious
These are all the things I can contribute when my family talk about him. See? This SCAB feels like it makes some sense doesn’t it? Like I’m reaching some grand conclusion that only through following me on this stream of consciousness you could reach. But no, I have nothing to say. Like I said at the start, this SCAB is about nothing. Because I have nothing to say. Because I wanted to write a SCAB about my grandad and what I can gouge he was like from what I’ve learned from my family. Because if I wanted to do that the only way I could was by namedropping him into a standard SCAB format and filling in the blanks.
I’m going to bring it back to the start. Back when I mentioned the moment. The moment is nothing – literally just going to the little corner shop with him and getting a Baby-Pop sweet. And, by changing the pace, the SCAB feels like its reaching its logical conclusion. If I get serious and engage the reader more, we can reach what we’ve learned. We’ve basically learned nothing, and while that may be sad for me to still know nothing about my grandad, putting in this SCAB format and ending it with this kind of conclusions makes it sound hopeful. Like there is a silver lining for your lack of understanding. By using the theory and techniques we’ve learned here we can end this by finishing like most SCABs, which is encouraging us to build better versions of ourselves. And it wouldn’t be a SCAB if I didn’t end with a quote:
“I mean – what have you got to lose? You know, you come from nothing – you’re going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing! Always look on the bright side of life.”
- Eric Idle (Monty Python’s Life of Brian).