Got Numbers?

by Nancy Casey

If you look deep inside any living thing, you aren’t going to find any numbers. Nobody has ever coughed up an actual 7, 16, or 56. Or pi. You can’t dig numbers out of the ground, or pull them from the sky, either.

Yet we have zillions of numbers associated with our lives. While you gather your writing materials and set up your page, think about all the different numbers that you know about. Draw a line at the top where the title will go and set aside some room for artwork if you like.

Much information comes to us as numbers. The percentages of people who hold certain opinions. The cost of a trip to a grocery store or gas station. Dates from the calendar and the time on a clock. The weight and the girth of the planet.

We have incomes and bank balances, debts, too. We keep certain numbers private, lest someone use them to steal our identity. A trip to the doctor’s office might unleash a whole slew of numbers: height and weight for sure, and maybe some lab results or instructions to go with a prescription.

All around you there are things you can count: fingers on your hand, spoons in the drawer, pages in a book, windows in a house, cracks in the sidewalk, miles to your destination.

Do you have a lucky number? A favorite one?

Today in your writing describe some of the numbers that are interesting or useful to you. They can be numbers that you know about and use all of the time. Or numbers that you are curious about.

Here’s the catch: don’t write down any actual numbers.

Instead, use phrases like: I know how many…  or It would be hard to count… or even, Someone could look up… or It’s important to keep track of… 

You could ask yourself questions: How much…? How far…? How many days…?

Fill up a page today by writing about some of the numbers that swirl around you.

When you have finished the page, read over what you have written. Illustrate your work if you haven’t already. Think up a title that ties everything together.

Write the title at the top of the page. Write the date on the page, 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. In-person Write-For-You classes could be returning to the Recovery Center before too long—but not just yet! If you would like some help with your writing, or just some encouragement,  contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

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