by Nancy Casey
Today you will be writing about something that is large in your life. It can be an idea, an event or a person. Maybe it’s a pet, a place, or a hobby.
How do you tell if something is large in your life?
Things that are large in your life often carry an emotional charge. Has something made you feel angry or upset lately? What gets you excited? What is deeply satisfying to you? What is making you feel the way you feel right now?
The large things in our lives take up our time. What do you spend your time doing, thinking about, watching or listening to? Who talks to you? Who needs you? Who ignores you? Who and what do you take the time to avoid?
Is there something that you wish other people understood? Is there something you wish you understood?
When you get to thinking about it, there are probably a zillion things that are large in your life. One thing that they will all have in common is that it’s hard to decide where to start when you are going to write about it.
After you have decided what to write about, don’t think about where to start, just write down some information. Start anywhere. Anywhere, that is, except the beginning. Plop yourself into the middle of this large thing in your life and write down one brief thing about it. If the first thing you write turns out not to be brief, that’s fine.
Once you’ve written something, start a new line and write the words, “And another thing…” Now write down some more information about this large thing in your life. When that’s done, skip to a new line, write “And another thing…” and describe a different detail from this whole big thing you are trying to write about.
Keep doing that. Don’t skip the actual writing of the words, “And another thing” because that’s the interval when your mind relaxes and lets an interesting idea bubble up. Don’t worry about the order in which things come out. If everything is all scrambled up, it doesn’t really matter. You can always put things in the right order later if you felt like it.
At the end of your writing, give the page a title and be sure to put the date on it. Here’s an example of the kind of thing you might write.
Repeat this exercise a few times throughout the week. You can choose to return to the same topic over and over again and probably surprise yourself by how much there is to say. That’s because the things that are large in our lives are complex and touch many aspects of our lives that are important to us.
When you repeat the exercise, you could also choose to write about a different topic each time. At any moment, each one of us has many different things that are large in our lives. If you write about several of them, you might begin to see how they are connected. Or maybe you’ll discover that they are at odds with each other.
Perhaps you will discover another thing altogether. Such a thing would probably turn out to be large.
Nancy Casey teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center on Thursdays. Check the calendar for classes and times. All are welcome. She coordinates Recovery Radio, which airs on KRFP 90.3 FM in Moscow Thursdays at 1:05 PM. Recovery Radio needs on-air and off-air volunteers. Call the Recovery Center 208-883-1045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.