Temporary and Permanent

by Nancy Casey

What’s temporary in your life? What is likely to be permanent? That’s what you’ll be exploring today in your writing. Open your mind to those questions while you gather your materials and set up your page.

Draw a line where the title will go. Then draw a shape in the middle of the page. A circle, a square, a blob—any kind of shape. This will be your drawing space, so make it as large or as small as you like.

Next draw two lines out from the shape to the edge of the paper so that the writing space is roughly divided in half.

On one side of the page, write about some things that are likely to change in your lifetime. What changes many times over the course of a day? What changes slowly over a lifetime? Sometimes changes are traumatic, and sometimes they bring relief. Consider your life and your world the way it is right now and ask yourself, “What’s not going to stay that way?”

You can write about one changing aspect of your life in detail, explaining how it will change and why you know that is true. Or your writing might look more like a list.

On the opposite side, you will write about things that you would consider to be permanent in your life. Of course you can argue that nothing is ever permanent. Life is full of miracles and surprises a person can never predict. All the same, there are things that we realistically expect to remain unchanged in our lifetimes. The past, for instance.

As ideas come to mind, you can switch back and forth from the “temporary” side of the page to the “permanent” side. While you wait for ideas to come to you, doodle or draw in the illustration space in the middle.

After you have filled a page, read over your work. Make small changes if you need to. Add additional color or decoration to the page. When you are satisfied with your work, give it a title and write the date on it, too.

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. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center.  She offers free writing coaching for people in recovery. For information contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

 

What You’re Good At

by Nancy Casey

What are you good at? What kinds of things do you do well? Think about that while you get ready to write.

Do a little moving around before you sit down with your writing stuff. When you move around and get the blood flowing, ideas will flow, too. What kind of moving around are you good at?

Do you have skills you seem to have been born with? What has always been easy for you?

What skills have you learned on your own? Consider what motivated you to learn this. A chance of a job? A change of relationships? A health issue? A childhood fantasy?

Do you have a skill that makes other people ask you for help?

When we are good at something, it might feel easy to do. Or it might not. Are you good at something that you also find difficult to do?

Just because a person is good at something doesn’t mean that they like to do it.  For example lots of people are good at their jobs but wouldn’t be doing that job if they didn’t need to earn a living.

In addition to being good at doing certain things, a person can also be good at showing restraint. Someone who is a great talker can also be a skilled listener. When you are helping someone learn something, you need the patience not to interfere and just do it yourself because you are so good at it. What kinds of inaction are you good at?

Fill up a page today by writing about what you are good at.  Draw a line at the top of the page where you can put a title when you are finished. Set aside some space for illustration or doodling.

Explain what you are able to do and why you are good at it. Add as many details as you like. You might find yourself writing about one single skill that you have. Or your page might look more like a list.  You could even organize it alphabetically.

However you fill the page, read over your work when you have finished. Make small changes if you need to. Add some color or decoration to the page if you haven’t already. When you are satisfied with the whole thing, give it a title and write the date on it, too.

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. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center. For more information about classes, writing coaching and writing certificates, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

 

Inanimate Pals

by Nancy Casey

While you gather your writing materials and set up your workspace, think about what it means to be pals with somebody.

A pal is a thick-and-thin kind of friend. One who knows when to stay quiet and when to help you change the subject. A friend who shows up and who asks questions because they care about you. When your pal rubs you the wrong way, it’s easy to forgive them, because they are your pal.

Today, think beyond the people who are your pals. Think about things.  Inanimate objects. Your stuff.

You could probably say that all of the everyday objects that make your life possible are your pals. From your favorite shoes to your spoon, they wait around most patiently to be at your service. They are loyal.

Some pals are your pals by the simple fact that they have witnessed your history. They remind you that yes, all that did happen, even if it seems a lifetime ago. Even if they are out of sight in a box.

People can have pals that they forget about until they need them again. When they get back in touch, they are glad to be together. No guilt-trips between pals.

Set up your page: draw a line at the top where a title will go and mark off a space for illustration.

As you do that, think about the stuff in your life.  The stuff in front of you, the stuff you know is around somewhere, the stuff you remember, even though it’s gone. Look around in all that stuff for your pals.

Write about one of those pals. Here are some questions that might help you do that:

  • Does this pal smell or sound or look a certain way? Can you touch it?
  • What does this pal contribute to your life?
  • Does this pal ever frustrate you?
  • What is reliable about this pal?

Write about one of your inanimate pals. Doodle and draw in the illustration space while you think. If you finish writing about one pal and still have room on the page, write about another one. Or draw some more.

After you have filled a page, read over your work. Make small changes if you need to. Add more color or decoration to the page. When you are satisfied with the page, give it  a title and write the date on it, too.

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. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center. For more information about writing coaching and writing certificates, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

People and Places

by Nancy Casey

Think of the many people that have passed through your life and the many places you have been. Oh so many!

Today you will write about 26 of them.

Set up your page by first drawing a line at the top where the title will go. Then write the letters of the alphabet (A-Z) down the left hand side of the page. For each letter of the alphabet, you will coax yourself to recall a person or a place from your life that begins with that letter.

You have lots of people to choose from: everybody you have ever known or heard about, strangers, people from the media, characters from shows and books.

Some of the places you have been have names that everybody knows. They be found on maps: names of cities, streets or mountain ranges. Other places are personal. They don’t have official names. You have favorite and not-so-favorite places in your living space and out in the world. Are there places you miss? Can you recall a place where you sat, stood, laughed or danced?

Here’s the twist: Don’t write down the name of the person or the place. Instead, write down a short detail that gives just enough information for you to know what it means. You don’t have to make it so somebody else would understand or even guess. It only has to make sense to you.

For example, a person who loves to stretch out on their blue couch could use “couch” for the letter “C”. But instead of writing “couch” they could write something like, “Inviting and blue.”

Another example: Suppose you have a friend named Bob. You could use “Bob” for the letter “B”. You wouldn’t write “Bob” though. Instead, next to the “B”, you could write down something you and Bob did together. Or you could name one quality of Bob’s that you admire.

It can take a minute or two for your mind to settle into the two-step thinking it takes to do this. First you think of something for the letter, then you think up the detail and write that down next to the letter. Be patient with yourself. Doodling can help. You can skip around instead of doing the letters in order.

If you get really stuck on a letter or two, leave it temporarily blank. Something might occur to you after you start doing something else and you can fill it in later.

When you have written something for each of the letters and illustrated the page to your satisfaction, give your work a title 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. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center. For more information about classes, writing certificates, or writing coaching, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

What’s Open?

by Nancy Casey

Drawers and windows can open. People can open their mouths, their eyes, their hands and, of course, their minds.

Volcanoes and earthquakes open up the ground.

A person can open a book, a file, a faucet or a present. Doors can open into something, and they can open out on something, too. (What’s the difference?)

How can you tell whether or not your mind is open? Does anything open as time passes? Can a flower prevent itself from opening?

Your writing mission for today is to fill a page while over-using the word open (or any of its forms, like opening, opened, open up, etc.)

You can describe your surroundings or something that happened to you. You can tell a story that you know about or a story that is invented from your imagination.

As you write, try to use the word open in every sentence at least once, more than once if you can.

As you fill your page, be open to the idea of drawing on it. Your mind opens up when you are “writing” and also not trying to squeeze your thoughts out in words and letters.

Be open to writing. Be open to drawing. Most of all, be open to the idea of opening and whatever that might open up.

After you have filled a page, read over your work. Make small changes if you need to. Add more color or decoration to the page if you want to. When you are satisfied with the page, give it a title and write the date on it, too.

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. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center. For more information about classes and writing certificates, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.