Write for You: Looming Letters

by Nancy Casey

As you set up your page today, think about some of the different things you could write.

What kinds of ideas have been rumbling around in your mind lately? Maybe you could write about them. Maybe you would rather tell a story–from this morning, or from a long time ago. It could be the story of an event you witnessed, an account you heard from someone else, something you have made up, or some blend of all of these. Maybe you would prefer to describe your surroundings right at this moment. You can decide not to write “about” anything at all and freewrite. That is, write down any old thing at all without hardly paying attention to what you are saying.

As your mind wanders over the possibilities for writing, draw a line across the top of the page where the title will go. (Don’t write the title until the very end.)

Then draw some circles on the page. You could draw 10 circles that are about the size of a quarter, or maybe only five of them if you make them larger than that. Spread the circles out so none are exactly touching each other. Arrange them in a way that’s pleasing to you.

Inside each circle, draw a letter. Any letter. All the letters in the circles can spell out a word if you like, but they don’t have to. It’s okay to repeat letters.

Then make each circle and its letter look very decorative. Doodle away inside the circles until you decide it’s time to start writing.

Write about whatever you want. The only requirement is that when you arrive at one of the circles, you have to use that letter next. It might be the first letter of a word, or it might fall in the middle of a word. However it works out, work that letter into your writing.

Keep going until the page is full.

When you have finished writing, reread your work. Make small changes if you need to. Look at each of the letters to see if you’d like to add a bit more decoration. When you are satisfied with the page, give it a title and write the date on it, too. Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. If you would like to do this exercise or others like it with a group of people, come to the Write-for-You class at the Latah Recovery Center on Thursdays at 5pm. Anyone can join. Just show up!
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