Pick It Up and Put It Down

by Nancy Casey

You pick something up. Then you put it down somewhere else. How many times in a day do you do that?

That’s something you can think about in today’s writing.

Prepare your page in the usual way, with a line at the top where you will write a title. Set off some space for an illustration if you like. Drawing or doodling can help you think up what to write if you feel stuck. Making a drawing after you have finished writing is a relaxing way to think about what you wrote.

After your page is set up, begin writing about things you have picked up and put down somewhere else. Tell what you picked up, where it was, and where you put it down. You can also say why you did this or add any other information that seems relevant.

People pick up a lot of things in the course of their daily routines, from spoons and toothbrushes to brooms and keys. Parents of small children often pick up people. Some folks regularly pick up plants and pets. Some people only pick up things that belong to themselves.  Other people mostly pick up things that belong to others.

What have you picked up so far today? Where did you put it down? Have you picked up and put down anything interesting this week?

Did you pick up anything with the help of other people? Did they then help you put it down? Maybe someone else did the picking up and putting down for you at your request. Was anything like a glove, a machine, or some kind of tool involved?

Some things can be picked up, but it’s impossible to put them down. So they don’t count. You can pick up on an idea. You can pick up a bad case of the flu. You can even pick up a tune that sings itself over and over again in your head. There’s really no way to put things like these down. Is there?

Write about as many different instances of picking up and putting down as you can fit on the page.

When you have finished writing, reread your work. Make small changes if you need to. 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! You can attend just for fun or work to earn a writing certificate. For more information, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Community Center.

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