Getting Out the Door

by Nancy Casey

What does it take for you to get yourself from the private comfort of your home and out into the public world?

Do you concern yourself with your appearance or what you carry with you? Is there something you must always remember? Anyhing you often forget? Do you start getting ready early or rush around at the last minute—or both?

Think about those things as you settle into today’s writing project.

Get out your stuff. Arrange the things in front of you in a way that looks pleasing to you. 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 in it if it helps your mind focus.

As soon as an idea comes to mind, start writing. Don’t fret over whether your idea is good enough. Sometimes the really good ideas don’t surface until you are halfway down the page. You just never know, and the only way you can find out is by writing something—anything.

How you prepare to leave your home often depends on where you are going. For example, it usually takes more effort to get ready to go on a trip than it does to step out for some fresh air. How do your preparations differ when you are going to work, to a friend’s house, or to take out the trash?

How you get ready to go depends on the season, too. In summer, it can be hard to remember what it takes to leave in winter. And vice-versa.

Do you have to prepare your home for your departure—turning off lights, giving water to a pet, telling someone goodbye, or things like that?

Once you close the door behind you, do you often have to go back inside for something you forgot?

You could write about your departure process for several different scenarios. Or perhaps you can recall a time when the simple act of leaving home turned into a story that will take (at least!) a page to tell.

Maybe you don’t feel like writing about yourself. You could write about someone you have helped or observed. Or you could make up an imaginary person and tell stories about what it’s like when they leave their home.

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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