Write for You: Without

by Nancy Casey

Today, write down a list of sentences or ideas that all begin with the word “without.”

Take a look around you. Do you see things that you couldn’t do without? You could write a sentence about what your life would be like without them.

Maybe you can see things that you wish you didn’t have in your life, and you could write and idea about what you it would mean if they weren’t there.

Let your imagination run to think about all the animals, vegetables and minerals that have no part in your life. What is it like to be without them?

Sometimes “being without” is difficult. Sometimes it is good to be without certain things: a sprained ankle, a boulder falling on your house, enemies.

You don’t have to limit yourself to ideas about your own life. You can think about strangers, your pets, or the plant on the windowsill. What would they be like without chocolate? Without water? Without gravity?

You can write about the planet we live on or the whole universe. What would they be without mosunderstandings? Without stars? Without dust?

At first “without” seems like it is a negative word, indicating that something is lacking. The more you write sentences that begin, “Without…” you’ll find that there’s always some kind of “with” hidden inside each one.

When you have filled a page (or more) 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

Did you know that we’ve had over 20000 client contacts since opening 9/15?

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Thanksgiving Potluck at the LRC. 6-8pm on 11/20. We provide the turkey. You bring a side dish and enjoy. Or come even if you can’t bring anything. Please call 208-883-1045 to RSVP by 11/16.

Check out Recovery Radio! https://latahrecoverycenter.org/2018/11/12/recovery-radio-11-8-18/

Writing is an excellent recovery tool. We post writing exercises every week to train your brain. Here’s the newest: https://latahrecoverycenter.org/2018/11/12/write-for-you-if-it-happens/

This Weeks Specials:
11/12 4pm Eat Smart Idaho Nutrition Class
11/15 5pm Recovering Parents

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

Write for You: If It Happens…

by Nancy Casey

Lots of things haven’t happened yet. But they might. They could. All kinds of things.

Today in your writing, you will be thinking about all the different kinds of things that you would be pleased to see happen.

You don’t have to describe how a thing might happen, or discuss the chances of it happening. If you would like for it to happen, that counts.

As you are thinking of all these wonderful things that haven’t happened to you yet but might, imagine how you will say thank you to those who helped to make it happen.

Sometimes we have ourselves to thank. Sometimes other people help us out, and we thank them. Sometimes a material object that happens to be in the right place at the right time makes things work out for us. So we thank unseen forces or even the object itself. Sometimes people thank the weather, or gravity.

Begin with a sentence in this form:

“If _____, I will thank_____ for _____.”

Fill in the blanks and then expand this idea a little bit. You could thank several things or people if you like. You could explain more about it by adding a part that starts with “Because…” You could write down the exact words you would use to say thank you.

Then begin again. Write a new sentence in the form:

“If _____, I will thank_____ for _____.”

Expand on that one a little bit, and start again.

After you have filled a page, read over your work. Make small changes and corrections if you want to. 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

The latest writing prompt from Write for You: https://latahrecoverycenter.org/2018/11/05/write-for-you-shouldnt-say-should/

Check out Recovery Radio on Thursdays, 1pm KRFP FM. Or download the latest podcast on iTunes or GooglePlay.

This months specials!
Recovering Parents 11/8 AND 11/15, 5pm
Eat Smart Idaho Nutrition Class 11/12, 4pm

Reminder: Our Recovery Peer Volunteer Program is here for you. These folks have lived experience with addictions and mental health issues, and are trained in helping those newer in recovery find resources and set goals. If you need help, check out this wonderful resource.

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

Write for You: Shouldn’t Say Should

by Nancy Casey

You shouldn’t say “should.” Should you?

We’ve all probably observed ourselves or someone else organizing all of life into a pile of “shoulds.” I should do this. I should do that. I should do stop doing this other thing. I should forget about it. I should vacuum, study, walk, apologize, eat, sleep, sing, listen, work…

The problem with such a pile of “shoulds,” of course, is that they can get to weigh so heavy on your shoulders that you can’t get anything done.

But people wouldn’t lay all those “shoulds” upon themselves with no reason. There is always something better behind it.

Today’s writing will be in two parts. First you will take a few minues—only a few!—to wallow in your “shoulds.” Then you will look behind them for the good things hiding there.

Begin with a clean sheet of paper. Draw a vertical line down the middle of it, so it is divided into two halves, left and right. (Leave a little bit of room at the top to write the title after you have finished.)

Down the left-hand side, write the letters of the alphabet, A through Z. Now pretend you have superpowers. For each letter, write down something you “should” do that begins with that letter. Because of your superpowers, when you finish writing, you will wave your hand and everything on your list will be accomplished. So go a head and be extravagant with your should

Should you have something for every letter? You can decide.

Look back over your list. Ask yourself about the good things that happens when each of the “shoulds” gets done. When the “should” gets accomplished, something about it will make you happy. It might be little or it might be big.

On the right hand side of the page, use the ideas that come from the “shoulds” to write about things that make you happy.

You can write the second part, any way you want. You can make another list, write random thoughts, or explain something in detail. Every time something from your “should” list reminds you of something that makes you happy, write the happy part down.

For example… Imagine that for the letter “F” someone wrote, “Fix the roof.” The thing that makes them happy about having the roof fixed could be something like “getting the important chores finished” or “learning how to do something new.” (It depends on the person. It could be lots of things.)

When you have finished writing, go back over the page and draw stars by the best parts.

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.