by Nancy Casey
We spend a lot of time being focused and staying organized. Many of us wish we were even more focused and organized than we are. Today you will write a page that is as disorganized and unfocused as you can make it.
The tool that you will use to make your writing full of distractions is the word “which.”
“Which” is a little word that we use before we add a little extra information about what we just wrote.
- The bike which you are riding has two tires which are…
- The page fills up with words which are written in blue which is the color of…
- The couch which I got from Habitat which is on Main Street which is in Moscow which is in Idaho which borders…
Your challenge today will be to distract yourself as much as you can by using the word “which” as often as you can.
Begin with something small—a random thought, an object that’s right in front of you—and begin to write something about it. As soon as you possibly can, stick in the word “which” and explain something about the word you just wrote.
For example, you could look at the table in front of you and notice all the things that are on it, things that remind you of what you must do today and or what you forgot to do yesterday. The table has other random things on it too, all of them part of the story of your life today. You might begin by writing, “On the table….”
Immediately, you could add the word “which” and tell something about the table. You could write, “…which is standing on the floor…” Then add the word “which” again and tell something about the floor. You might end up with something like,
“On the table which is standing on the floor which is made of wood which comes from trees which have bark which is a dog sound which means…”
Keep on going and going, using the word “which” whenever you can to add new, random information.
You might have noticed that in the example above, the stuff all over the table never got written about. That’s the fun and beauty of distraction. You just keep moving forward and forget everything that’s behind. Don’t make any effort to write “about” something or “make sense.” Don’t bother planning ahead.
Wait until you get to the very end of the page before you go back and re-read what you have written. The best way to distract yourself far away from where you started is to forget where you started in the first place. So don’t go back and remind yourself until you are all done.
You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.
Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. Sometimes she teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories novels—email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.