Write for You: In the Doorway

by Nancy Casey

A doorway is a powerful image. You can find them in films, songs, advertising, news reports, memes, paintings—not to mention real life. Doorways are everywhere.

Today, as you prepare your writing materials and settle in to your writing practice, imagine doorways. Doorways you have known, doorways you have stood in or passed through, doorways you have seen pictures of, doorways you can imagine, whether they are real or not. You could draw a picture of a doorway while you think about this.

Then think about the doorway with something or someone in it. It could be you or another person, a pet, an object, a plant. It can be something that’s invisible. It can be something you remember or something that you make up.

Use this fill-in-the-blank to start up your writing: “________ was in the doorway…” Then tell the rest of the story.

You can describe the doorway itself. You can describe the person or thing in the doorway. You can describe where the doorway is. You might want to tell something about the time, or the day or what else is nearby.

Don’t leave the doorway frozen in space and time like a photograph, however. Roll the camera. Tell what happened.

Doorways almost always represent some kind of transition, because they always change. Someone walks in or out. The door opens and closes. Nothing can stay in a doorway forever, because the doorway will be blocked and not be a doorway anymore. You might want to say something about the transition that takes place in your doorway story.

Maybe you will find yourself telling a single long story that begins with a certain doorway. Maybe you will end up telling several brief stories from doorways. Although each story begins with a doorway, there are many variations on how you can tell it. You can mix things that are “real” and things that are “made up” into your story however you like.

However it turns out, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add decoration and color to the page as needed. Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can do that by typing or pasting text. Or you can take a picture of your page and post that.

Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. She has taught writing classes at the Recovery Center and will return again in the spring of 2018. You can find more of her work here. If you would like her help with a writing project—resumes, letters, stories novels—email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

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