Write for You: Get the Picture?

by Nancy Casey

Today you will need at least two sheets of paper: one for drawing and one for writing. The one that you use for drawing should be completely blank, with no lines on it.

Then pick something in front of you and draw it on the blank page. It can be anything at all, as long as it’s right there where you can see it and isn’t going to be moving around.

If you are part of that big chunk of the population who “can’t draw,” that’s okay. Just draw something anyway. Look at the thing. Make some marks. Look again. Make more marks. That’s what drawing is: looking at something and making the marks it inspires on a page. You don’t even have to look at the marks while you are making them!

Use ink or pencil to draw with, anything you like. Don’t get carried away with erasing. Don’t cross stuff out or scribble over it out of frustration. Just do your best to draw what you see and leave it at that.

When you have finished, locate some empty space on the page and draw the same thing again. You might want to rotate the page a little bit. Maybe you will decide to only draw one small part of the thing. Or maybe you did that last time, and now you are going to draw the whole thing. Just draw it somehow.

When you are finished, draw it again. And again, and again. Until the page is all filled up.

It might look messy. It might look goofy. But some parts of it will really please you. Guaranteed. Whether you “know how” to draw or not.

Many people say that when they draw something, a calmness comes over them after about 5 or 10 minutes. They stop caring how the drawing is going to “come out” and just enjoy what they are doing. Did that happen to you? What was your experience like?

Jot down some notes about your drawing experience on the second page. Tell what the experience felt like, and what your attitude was like as you did the work. If your mind wandered away to other things, write about those things.

Write a little bit about the object you drew. Tell why you picked it and the role it plays in your life. Did you notice things about it that you hadn’t noticed before?

Keep drawing things. Fill up pages with drawings instead of writing. Experiment with drawing something that you remember instead of something right in front of you. Or simply doodle. Is the experience the same for each kind of drawing?

Whatever you draw, or write, or doodle, be sure to put the date and a title on your pages. Here is an example of what a person could do.


Nancy Casey teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center on Thursdays. Check the calendar for classes and times, or just drop in. 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 latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.


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