The Bigger Picture

by Nancy Casey

Since you will probably write the word “picture” more than once in your writing today, you could start by drawing a picture frame all around the edge of the page. You can decorate the frame while you are thinking about what to write.

Leave a bit of space at the top where a title can fit later, and then write one sentence about something that is small.

You can describe something small that’s in your immediate environment, like a dust mote or a key. Or you can write down a few details about something you remember or something that you make up. It doesn’t have to be a thing. It can be a small idea, like remembering to close the door behind you. Or a small action, like twitching a muscle or the tick of a clock.

Begin the next sentence with the phrase, “In the bigger picture…”  Imagine that you zoom some distance away from the small thing you began with. Describe what’s in the (bigger) picture that contains it.

Then write “In the bigger picture…” again. Zoom once more and describe what’s in a still bigger picture.

You can zoom out into physical space, like a camera would, and put a larger frame around the scene. You can also zoom out in history or time where a day fits into the bigger picture of a month or year, or an event in your life can also be an event in the bigger picture of your family or community. Ideas fit inside one another, too—gravity, for example, is part of physics.

However you keep enlarging the picture, keep going, describing the ever-bigger pictures your first small thing fits into, until you have filled the page. Or until your picture is the whole big vast universe and every object and idea in it. In that case, start over with a new small thing.

When the page is full, go back over your work. Make small changes if you want to. Add more decoration if there is room. Think up a title.

Write the title at the top of the page. Write the date on it too, along with a signature or your initials.

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. It’s not possible to have an in-person Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center at this time, but if you are interested in writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

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