Randomly Reminding

by Nancy Casey

When you write today, you will have a chance to explore—and appreciate—how vast the contents of your mind are. You will do this by disorganizing your thoughts, and then (sort of) reorganizing them again.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Next, write the letters of the alphabet, A-Z, down the left-hand side of the page.

Although the alphabet is very orderly, people don’t think or talk in alphabetical order. So you can disorganize your thoughts by writing down, next to the letter A, the first thing that pops into your mind that begins with the letter A. Then write something for the letter B. And then C, and so on down the page, finishing at the letter Z.

If you spend very much time deciding what to write next to each letter, your thoughts will naturally get orderly. So write down your 26 words as fast as you can. Use the first words that come to mind, instead of searching around for a “good” one.

Return to the word you wrote for the letter A. Next to it, write “reminds me of” and after that write something that your word reminds you of. You don’t have to explain the connection, or make anything clear. Just write something that makes sense to you in the moment.

For example, if you wrote airport for the letter A, maybe it would remind you of going to pick up your friend Ziggy at the airport. Of course you could write, “picking up Ziggy.” But you would remember other things, Ziggy’s clothes, perhaps or the snack you ate while waiting. So you might end up writing something like “torn jeans and a plaid shirt” or “an expensive sandwich that tasted awful.”

When you first start out, your mind might resist being so disorderly. After all, there is a lot of pressure on us to “make sense” most of the time. You can’t be totally random and at the same time, hold on to the idea of getting something “right.”

Does your mind get looser as you move down the page?

After you have written down what your Z-word reminds you of, go back over the page and reread what you have written.  Is it easy or hard to follow? Are there parts that surprised you or made you feel clever and original?

Give your work a title. Draw on the page, too. Decorate it however you like. Write your initials and 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. 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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