Certain Kinds of Success

by Nancy Casey

People measure success in all kinds of ways. But what about plants and animals? They can succeed, too, can’t they?

What does it take to be a successful pig, for instance? Does it depend on the pig? What is success like for a dog or an amoeba?

What are the signs that a plant has succeeded? What is a successful garden like? Or a successful forest?

Look around you. What kinds of success can you find among the plants and animals? If there are no plants or animals nearby, look around for some inside your memory or imagination.

As you organize yourself to write, think about all the different forms “success” takes, depending on the perspective.

Get out your stuff. Arrange it 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 if it helps your mind focus. If your mind feels empty of ideas, doodling, drawing, or even just scribbling, relaxes your mind and gently draws your focus to the writing task so that when an idea comes, you’ll be ready to write it down.

Write down the first idea about non-human success that comes into your mind. When you are finished with that idea, if you still have room on the page, write about the next idea about non-human success that comes into your mind.

When you have filled up the page, look back over your work. 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 one 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 any kind of writing project, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

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