Best Of

by Nancy Casey

Every experience is made up of a collection of smaller experiences. That’s true of a vacation, a trip to the dentist, or eating lunch. It’s true of parenthood, adolescence, planting a garden, or washing a car. It’s never just one thing.

Think about an experience you’ve had in your life. Major, minor, recent, long ago—it doesn’t matter. It could even be an experience that only happened in your imagination. Think about all the parts of that experience, all the mini-experiences inside the original one.

Of all of those mini-experiences, which one was the best? Answer that question with a sentence that begins, “The best part of…”

Set up your page: draw a line at the top of the page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration if you like. Get yourself going with drawing or doodling if that’s your thing.

Think about how odd it is that taking note of the best mini-experience inside a larger one doesn’t have anything to do with whether the larger experience was a good one or a bad one. In addition, the best mini-experience might be a pretty good one, but the “best” can also turn out to be the least-worst of the collection.

As you write, mention the larger experience, then devote all your writing energy to describing the mini-experience. You might write something like, “The best part of that meeting was the snacks.” You wouldn’t say anything more about the meeting, but you could continue and describe all the snacks and your experience of them. You might decide to leave that idea and think about a different experience and its best part.

Maybe you’d write,  “The best part of my friend’s visit was when we laughed.” If you want to write more, write about what the laughing was like and what was so funny, but don’t say anything more about the friend’s visit.

Fill your page with descriptions of one or more “best parts.” Then 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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