On average…

by Nancy Casey

Nobody’s perfect, but a lot of people must be average. Think about the average ones today.

You already know how many eyes and fingers the average person has. The internet can probably tell you how tall the average person is, what they weigh, and how many teeth they have. And you can explore your imagination for your own ideas you about average people.

Get yourself set up to write, and as you do, invite your thoughts turn over the notion of  “the average person.”

To get ready, arrange the things in front of you in a way you find pleasing. Take a breath or two. Wiggle around a little to loosen yourself up.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like. Start drawing or doodling to help your mind focus on the page in front of you and your thoughts about average people.

Consider the average person’s appearance—what they look like, what they wear, how they style their hair. Do they wear contacts or eyeglasses? Do they yawn much or slouch?

What does the average person eat? What kind of work do they do? What do they watch or listen to? In what ways are they like you?

What goes on inside the average person’s mind? What makes them laugh? What are they looking for in life? How much do they plan and worry? How do they feel about their accomplishments?

How many times a day do you suppose the average person smiles, blinks, or burps?

How often does the average person make a mistake, and do they tend to know it’s a mistake at the time? What makes the average person successful? What do you suppose the average person regrets?

You might want to narrow down your idea of the average person. After all, there are nearly 8 billion people on the planet and it’s hard to consider them all. Maybe you want to think about the average person in your town or age group. Or the average barista, student, or gardener. You could consider the average tired person, the average traveler, or the average pet owner.

There are all sorts of average ideas ideas about average people lounging around in your mind. Describe the first one that floats to the surface, and then keep going until the page is full. Pause to doodle and think whenever you need to.

When you get to the bottom of the page, look back over your work. Pause to add illustration or decoration if you like.

Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on it. 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 some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

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