Drawing, Doodling, and Writing

by Nancy Casey

Drawing, doodling, and writing are more alike than different.  All three involve you making marks on paper (or whatever you write on) with a pen (or whatever you write with.) They can float your mind away from the part of your life that is all about tasks and time.

Today’s writing is an opportunity to make a page that leans heavily on the draw-and-doodle aspects of writing. So you can notice what that is like.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Extend the line all the way to the edge, down the sides, and across the bottom so the whole page below the title will have a box around it.

Inside that box, draw some lines that divide the space into 5-7 more or less equal sections. You can draw straight lines or squiggly ones. The lines can slant and curve to make the sections be any shape that you like. Or you can make regular, even boxes.

Draw a line pretty close to the inside edge of each section. Now every section has a frame around it!

Decorate all the frames. In the space inside each one, draw a picture and write at least 3 words. You can skip around all over the page and doodle-decorate, draw, or write in any order.

To decorate the frames, you can draw lines and patterns or doodle it up in a way that’s completely random. To decorate a frame really fast, color it all one color.

For the pictures, you can draw any object around you, or something from your memory or imagination. You can try pictures that begin with a squiggle-doodle and turns into—what? Maybe a picture of something maybe not.

Three words isn’t very much. Start with the drawing and doodling parts and see what words pop into your head. More than three words is okay, of course.

Move around the page with drawing, doodling and writing until it is full. Look back over your work and think about what it felt like to do it.

Different people describe different ways that drawing, doodling, and writing affect their mind. For most, after 5 or 10 minutes into the process they notice a shift into a relaxed mind space. Ideas pop up that they didn’t expect to have. The sense of time and responsibility evaporates somehow. It can be very pleasant.

Sometimes there is resistance, too. It’s also interesting to notice that. How you can feel impatient. How, gradually, that impatience can go away and then boing! some clear thought comes into your mind and pleases you.

There’s no single, correct way for a person’s mind to behave. And nobody’s mind is the same every day. Drawing, doodling, and writing are tools in your toolkit. Over time they will show you how your mental and creative processes work.

While you are looking at your work and thinking about your process, a title will likely pop into your head. Write it at the top of the page, along with a signature and the date.

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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