Write for You: Not You

by Nancy Casey

Today in your writing you will have a chance to think about all the things that you are not.

You will do this by inventing an imaginary person who is different from you in many ways.

For example, if you are a student sitting in a chair with a notebook, wondering what you are going to write, you could begin by writing, “The student is sitting in a chair with a cat, wondering what to name it.” That same student could begin with something more far-fetched, something like, “The professor is sitting on a log in the forest, with a map, wondering which way to go.”

After you have written one sentence to describe an imaginary person who is not like yourself, write another one. And another one. And another. Until you almost-fill the page.

What time did you get up this morning? What are you wearing? What color are your eyes? What is your gender? Use details about yourself as springboards for describing your imaginary person. Twist your details around so they don’t describe you anymore.

Since your person is imaginary, they can have any powers and characteristics that your imagination wants to give them–as long as you don’t have them, too. Your person can fly and breathe under water if that suits your fancy (and you can’t.) They can be microscopic or trapped inside a tree. Or they can be the ordinary kind of person someone would run into around town–as long as they wouldn’t remind anyone of you.

Write down as many details as you can about this person. If you run out of ideas, look back at yourself. What’s going on? What will you be doing today? How many siblings do you have? Where do you live? What color is your hair? What do you do for fun?

As you take note of a detail about yourself, turn it into something different or opposite. Use that new detail to describe your imaginary person. It’s okay if your imaginary person turns into a bit of a hodgepodge. They’re imaginary!

Stop writing before you get to the very bottom of the page. Leave a couple inches of white space.

Go back and read over what you wrote. If you want to, you can make changes or squeeze in some more details, as long as the details aren’t like you. Have you thought of a name for this imaginary person? What would it be like to be this person?

In the last remaining space on the page, add a few more sentences. You could continue describing the imaginary person. Or you could draw a line across the page beneath what you have written and write some comments about it.

When you have finished, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add decoration and color to the page as needed. Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. Sometimes she teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories novels—email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

This Week at the Latah Recovery Center

Our elves have been working on a great Christmas party. Potluck, white elephant gifts, kids giving tree and more! Email the head elf at coaching.latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for all the details.
When:
12/20, 6pm XMas Party!

…Here’s a link to the full calendar of Recovery support meetings and classes and groups and… EVERYTHING!:
https://latahrecoverycenter.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/december-2018-at-the-latah-recovery-center.pdf

December at the Latah Recovery Center

The latest from Write for You’s series of writing prompts: https://latahrecoverycenter.org/2018/12/03/write-for-you-tools-for-understanding/

Don’t forget Recovery Radio, Thursdays 1pm on KRFP. Or podcast anytime on Googleplay and iTunes!

December is here. Here are a few of the special events we have lined up. MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
1. 2nd Monday, 4-5pm Eat Smart Idaho: Free Nutrition Class
2. 12/6/18, 4-8 Alt Giving Market at 1912 Center
3. No prescription addiction support group on Tuesdays; starting in December.
4. No Narcotics Anonymous on Mondays also; starting in December.
5. The Christmas party potluck is December 20th at 6:00pm. Also planning a kids gift give away. Contact coaching.latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for details!

…and here’s the complete calendar:
December 2018 at the Latah Recovery Center

Write for You: Tools for Understanding

by Nancy Casey

We have five senses. We think things up. We learn from the world outside of ourselves. We wonder about things and ask ourselves questions.

These are some of the tools that we use to move smoothly through the world as we experience it. They help us dress properly for the weather, avoid spoiled food, make friends, and understand ourselves. These tools help us gather information. Some of them even operate 24/7.

Today you will write down some of the information you have gathered from these sources.

Begin by folding the page in half so that the top edge touches the bottom edge. Then fold the page in half again the same way. Fold the page a third time so that the left edge touches the right edge. When you open the page back up again, it will be divided into eight equal rectangles or boxes.

Leave a little bit of room at the top of the page for the title you will add later.

Write one of these headings at the top of each small rectangle:

See – Hear – Touch – Taste – Smell – Ideas – Others – Questions

Under the headings for each of the five senses, write down the names of a few things that you can perceive with each sense right now. You can also write things that you remember perceiving with each of those senses.

Under the heading “Ideas” write down a few things you have figured out or thought up. Our minds make up ideas constantly. Sometimes they are complex thoughts about the meaning of this universe. Sometimes our ideas are mostly about lunch.

In the box labeled “Others” write down some things you have learned from what you’ve noticed in the world outside yourself. What have you learned from other people? Have pets or other animals taught you things about the world? Have you learned from a plant? from a book? from a rock?

In the box marked “Questions” write down some questions that you don’t know the answer to. Our minds are asking questions all the time: “What’s that?” when we hear a loud sound. Profound questions about the direction of our lives. Decisions to make about what to wear and eat for the next 24 hours.

You don’t have to fill the boxes in any order. You can skip around. If you get stuck, look around you and listen to your mind—you’ll find you are using some combination of these eight tools all the time. You are constantly taking in information about the world. Your mind is constantly trying to understand everything better.

When you have filed all eight boxes, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add decoration and color to the page as needed. Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. Sometimes she teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories novels—email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

This Week at the Latah Recovery Center

Thanksgiving at the Latah Recovery Center was FANTASTIC! Thanks to the hard work of our staff, RJ and Shaun, and numerous volunteers, we provided a Thanksgiving meal to over 40 people. The LRC is thankful for YOU for helping make such a special event happen for our recovery community.

December is almost here. Here are a few of the special events we have lined up. MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
1. 2nd Monday, 4-5pm Eat Smart Idaho: Free Nutrition Class
2. 12/1/18: Appaloosa Horse Club. We will meet there at 11 am Saturday
3. 12/6/18, 4-8 Alt Giving Market at 1912 Center
4. No prescription addiction support group on Tuesdays; starting in December.
5. No Narcotics Anonymous on Mondays also; starting in December.
6. The Christmas party potluck is December 20th at 6:00pm.

Write for You has another writing prompt for you to practice with:
https://latahrecoverycenter.org/2018/11/26/write-for-you-every-which-way/

…and Recovery Radio is always available to download off Googleplay or iTunes. Or listen live on Thursdays 1pm on KRFP!

Here’s the November calendar:
https://latahrecoverycenter.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/november-2018-at-the-latah-recovery-center.pdf

Write for You: Every Which Way

by Nancy Casey

We spend a lot of time being focused and staying organized. Many of us wish we were even more focused and organized than we are. Today you will write a page that is as disorganized and unfocused as you can make it.

The tool that you will use to make your writing full of distractions is the word “which.”

“Which” is a little word that we use before we add a little extra information about what we just wrote.

  • The bike which you are riding has two tires which are…
  • The page fills up with words which are written in blue which is the color of…
  • The couch which I got from Habitat which is on Main Street which is in Moscow which is in Idaho which borders…

Your challenge today will be to distract yourself as much as you can by using the word “which” as often as you can.

Begin with something small—a random thought, an object that’s right in front of you—and begin to write something about it. As soon as you possibly can, stick in the word “which” and explain something about the word you just wrote.

For example, you could look at the table in front of you and notice all the things that are on it, things that remind you of what you must do today and or what you forgot to do yesterday. The table has other random things on it too, all of them part of the story of your life today. You might begin by writing, “On the table….”

Immediately, you could add the word “which” and tell something about the table. You could write, “…which is standing on the floor…” Then add the word “which” again and tell something about the floor. You might end up with something like,

“On the table which is standing on the floor which is made of wood which comes from trees which have bark which is a dog sound which means…”

Keep on going and going, using the word “which” whenever you can to add new, random information.

You might have noticed that in the example above, the stuff all over the table never got written about. That’s the fun and beauty of distraction. You just keep moving forward and forget everything that’s behind. Don’t make any effort to write “about” something or “make sense.” Don’t bother planning ahead.

Wait until you get to the very end of the page before you go back and re-read what you have written. The best way to distract yourself far away from where you started is to forget where you started in the first place. So don’t go back and remind yourself until you are all done.

When you have finished, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add decoration and color to the page as needed. Here is an example of what a person could write.

You can share what you have written by posting it as a comment below. You can type in your work. Or post a picture of it.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. Sometimes she teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories novels—email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

This Week at the Latah Recovery Center

We are open our regular hours this week.

Don’t miss our Thanksgiving Potluck! Tuesday, 11/20 6-8pm. We supply the turkey, everything else is POTLUCK! See you there. RSVP to coaching.latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com if you can.

Here’s the latest writing prompt from Write for You:
https://latahrecoverycenter.org/2018/11/19/write-for-you-without/

Don’t miss Learn to Crochet and Calm Your Mind 11/24, 10am.

Here’s our calendar:
https://latahrecoverycenter.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/november-2018-at-the-latah-recovery-center.pdf