Write for You: When You Don’t Want To

by Nancy Casey

Have you ever done anything that you didn’t want to do? If the answer is yes, you won’t have any trouble coming up with things to write about today.

Think of a story about something you did even though you didn’t want to do it.

For example, it’s hard to love every single chore you must do to keep your life moving along. Laundry. Vehicle maintenance. Shoveling snow. Shopping. Filling out forms. Have you had to sigh recently and say to yourself, “Nobody else is going to do it, so I might as well get going?”

Sometimes we have opportunities to do something that seems scary to us. Going snowboarding, swimming, or bowling. Eating sushi. Singing in public. Applying for a job. Asking directions. Have you stepped up lately and done something you were reluctant to do? How did it go?

What happened before you did the thing you didn’t want to do? Was it preceded by a period of procrastination or clever tricks of denial? Did you (or other people) give yourself pep talks or scoldings? Did you dive in and get the thing done so it wouldn’t bother you?

Doing what you don’t want to do isn’t always so great. Have you ever gone ahead with something you didn’t want to do, only to learn that you had been right about it not being a good idea?

Sometimes we find ourselves in really difficult situations where we have to make a choice that feels terrible in the moment. We have to rise to the occasion somehow because we know this is what’s best. Maybe we are helping another person. Maybe we are helping our future self.

What about all those times when a friend’s needs make you set aside your own? Do you have stories of giving up time, sleep, or other needs to help a friend through a problem?

When you tell a story of doing something that you didn’t want to do, include some information about your attitude. Were you grumpy, hesitant or joyful? Did your attitude change as things progressed? Was it the same at the end as in the beginning?

When you have written a page, give it a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add an illustration or decoration to the page. Color is nice. 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 type in your work. Or post a picture of it.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. 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, homework, etc. She will be teaching writing classes at the Recovery Center in the spring. Email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.
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