Not Happening

by Nancy Casey

Today in your writing, let your imagination float away to a different world. Write about anything you like, as long as it hasn’t happened.

As you set up your page, think about how the whole universe of what hasn’t happened is so much more vast than the map of everything that actually has happened.

Draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like. You can always draw or doodle while you wait for a writing idea to come to mind.

One category of things that haven’t happened consists of everything you imagine happening later today. Or next year.

Another category: things that haven’t happened because they are against the laws of physics and the natural world as we know it. Rocks sprouting fingers, for instance, or a neutron star moving into the house next door.

Somewhere in the middle of those two categories are all the things that might happen. There are those that probably will, and those that probably won’t. Some you wish will indeed happen and others you dread.

What about all of the things that you can’t even imagine happening? It’s pretty hard to write about them! Can you draw any of them?

When you have filled up the page with events that haven’t occurred, 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 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 or encouragement with any kind of writing project, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.


Raised by God: The Autobiography of Patricia Clayton is a new book that grew out of the Write For You program at LRC. It is the story of a person making herself new after years of addiction and trauma.

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