Don’t Run Out!

by Nancy Casey

By now you’ve probably seen the of images of empty shelves in stores. Or heard lots of jokes about hoarding toilet paper. Maybe you have done some stocking up. It’s perfectly reasonable not to want to run out of things that are important to you.

What don’t you want to run out of?

Think about that as you set up your page for a bit of writing. Draw a line at the top where the title will go, and set off a space for doodling or illustration.

What matters to you in your life?

There are material things, of course. Most people care about food, shelter and clothing. Food gets consumed and you will always need more. Clothing wears out or becomes wrong for the season, or sometimes you just don’t like what you have anymore and want new things. Running out of shelter entirely is a tragedy, and you also don’t want to run out of the things that make your shelter clean, sturdy and comfortable.

What specific things in the food, shelter, and clothing departments don’t you want to run out of?

Beyond the basics, there are other material things that we want to have in our lives—art supplies, technology, gasoline, potting soil, novels, candy… The list is endless, and nobody should be ashamed of what they want.

There are also non-material things that we don’t want to drain from our lives. Affection, perhaps? Laughter? Information? Understanding? What invisible things would cause you a visible or invisible wound if they left your life and never came back?

Write about what you don’t want to run out of today. To get started, you can use a sentence in the form of:

I don’t want to run out of ­­­______, because….

You can then explain why this thing is important for you. You might also want to expand a bit and tell what you do to make sure you don’t run out of it. Or tell a story about how much you didn’t like it when you did run out of this thing.

Maybe you will write about one thing. Perhaps you will write about many.

Different things are important to different people. Noticing what you don’t want to disappear from your life can help give you direction. It can also help you better understand yourself, your situation, and your motivations.

After you have filled a page, read over your work. 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 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.

Opposite and Opposite

by Nancy Casey

Draw a line at the top of your page to save room for a title. Set aside a bit of space for drawing or doodling. Then write a sentence. About 10 or 15 words long.

It can be any sentence: a remark about your surroundings, something entirely made up, a memory, a wish—anything you think of.

One by one, consider the words that you have written. What is the opposite of each word? For some words, you might have to stretch your imagination a bit to come up with an opposite. Other words might not have opposites at all.

Pick out a word that is the opposite of one of the words in that first sentence, and weave that word into your second sentence somehow. Your second sentence can be about anything at all. You don’t have to make it connect to the first sentence unless you want to.

Consider the individual words of the second sentence and choose one of their opposites to use in your third sentence. Write the third sentence however you want.

Keep going like that. Work your way down the page writing sentences so that each sentence contains a word that is the opposite of one of the words in the sentence before it.

Write down whatever occurs to you. It’s not necessary to try to make the sentences all go together in a story or “make sense” somehow. You really can’t plan ahead. It’s more important to think about the interesting opposite words, notice the sentences that pop into your mind, and write one down when it seems like a good one to you.

When the page is full, go back over what you have written. Make small changes if you need to. Do the opposite words stand out very much? Did your writing turn out to be “about” something, even though you were writing somewhat random sentences?

Add some color or decoration to the page if you haven’t already. 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 taught the Write-For-You writing class at the Recovery Center last summer and will return again in the spring. For more information about classes and writing certificates, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

So Many Opinions

by Nancy Casey

You can’t know everything. Nobody can. Even if you take every fact that everyone on the planet knows and put them together, all sorts of things would remain unknown.

We fill in the gaps with our opinions. When you pay attention to your opinions, you understand yourself and grow. Today, write about some of your opinions—what they are and where they come from.

Set up your page so that there will be space for a title and some room for illustration. If you are of the opinion that you have nothing to write about, doodle in the illustration space until ideas start to come to you.

Some opinions have to do with taste: what you like and don’t like, what you think is beautiful or ugly. When something bores you or excites you, it’s because of opinions you hold.

Almost everything you think about the future is an opinion. Things you hope will or won’t happen. Your ideas about how future events will unfold. As the future becomes the present, those opinions could change or get stronger.

Your experience is a source of opinions, too. Whether you consider memories to be happy, sad, or confusing comes from your experience. So do a lot of ideas about whether a course of action is a good one or not.

We get our opinions from other people, too. Sometimes we adopt their opinions because we admire or respect them. Sometimes we form an opinion because of the emotions others show when they speak or act. Sometimes we observe people—friends and strangers alike—and opinions grow out of what we notice.

Take stock of your immediate surroundings. Travel backwards in memory through the events of the day so far. Consider what you have been watching, reading, listening to, and thinking about. You’ll start noticing your opinions. Write about them.

Tell what your opinion is. Explain, if you can, where the opinion comes from. Are there facts or information involved? Other people? Your experience? Your taste? They are your opinions. You can write anything you want about them.

After you have filled a page, read over your work. 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 what you’ve done, give the page a title. Write your initials and the date on it, too.

When you finish, you’ll have an opinion about what you wrote. The more you notice your opinions, the better and more interesting they get.

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 taught the Write-For-You writing class at the Recovery Center last summer and will return again in the spring. For more information about classes and writing certificates, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.