Write for You: Many Travels

by Nancy Casey

We travel a lot. Across the world, across the room, across time. On foot. In memory. In empathy.

Is some part of us always traveling?

Today, write about your travels.

First, set up your page. Leave space at the top where you can put the title after you have finished writing. Mark off a space that you will use to draw or doodle while you are thinking up things to write.

Begin with a sentence that uses this form:

When ______________ , I travel______________

(You might prefer to say traveled or will travel, might travel, wish I could travel, etc.)

The part of the sentence that says when will tell something about the beginning of the travel. Was it started by a life event? A thought? The weather? Some part of your routine, such as eating or brushing your teeth?

Think about the travel in terms of who, what, where, why, how. Think about all the different kinds of traveling you can or might do.

After you have written that first sentence, add a little bit more. Make some kind of a comment on what you’ve already written.

You can fill the page by writing about one thing, one single bit of traveling. Or you can write many different travels.

Use the doodling space to let your pen and your mind travel aimlessly while you are thinking and deciding what to write.

At the very end of the page, wish yourself safe and happy travels.

When you have finished, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add further 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. 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, homework, etc. She will be teaching writing classes at the Recovery Center in the spring. Email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

Write for You: Doodles of Kindness

by Nancy Casey

Today you will write down some random thoughts about kindness. How will you make sure they are random? By doodling!

Gather up some different colors of pens if you have them, and any other drawing-type materials you enjoy.

Draw a line near the top of the page to mark the space where the title will go. Then draw the letter ‘K’ in the center of the page and put a circle around it. K is for kindness.

Draw 3 lines from the K in the center out to the edge of the page so that your page will be divided into 3 sections that are more or less the same size.

Pick a section and begin doodling. You can doodle up squiggles and shapes or you can sketch whatever is in front of you. You can make a single blob and just color it in. What you draw can be “about” something—or not. Fool around and enjoy what comes out of your pen.

Drawing relaxes your mind in a way that allows your thoughts to roll around at random. When one of those random thoughts happens to be about kindness, notice that.

“Kindness” as a topic can cover a lot of things. So you will probably start to notice lots of thoughts about it. Kind actions, kind thoughts. Kindness offered, kindness received. All the different ways kindness feels. Kindness you remember. Kindness you wish for. Ways to be kind.

As you continue to draw and doodle, decide which random thought about kindness you will write down. You don’t have to write a lot. You might decide to go back and forth between the writing and drawing.

Try to have the writing part and the drawing part take up approximately the same amount of room.

When you have filled one section, fill another one the same way. Then fill the third section.

After that, look over all that you have done. Squeeze in new things if you want. As you go back through your work, a title is likely to pop into your mind. Write it down at the top. Put the date on the page somewhere as well.

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. 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, homework, etc. She will be teaching writing classes at the Recovery Center in the spring. Email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.

Write for You: When You Don’t Want To

by Nancy Casey

Have you ever done anything that you didn’t want to do? If the answer is yes, you won’t have any trouble coming up with things to write about today.

Think of a story about something you did even though you didn’t want to do it.

For example, it’s hard to love every single chore you must do to keep your life moving along. Laundry. Vehicle maintenance. Shoveling snow. Shopping. Filling out forms. Have you had to sigh recently and say to yourself, “Nobody else is going to do it, so I might as well get going?”

Sometimes we have opportunities to do something that seems scary to us. Going snowboarding, swimming, or bowling. Eating sushi. Singing in public. Applying for a job. Asking directions. Have you stepped up lately and done something you were reluctant to do? How did it go?

What happened before you did the thing you didn’t want to do? Was it preceded by a period of procrastination or clever tricks of denial? Did you (or other people) give yourself pep talks or scoldings? Did you dive in and get the thing done so it wouldn’t bother you?

Doing what you don’t want to do isn’t always so great. Have you ever gone ahead with something you didn’t want to do, only to learn that you had been right about it not being a good idea?

Sometimes we find ourselves in really difficult situations where we have to make a choice that feels terrible in the moment. We have to rise to the occasion somehow because we know this is what’s best. Maybe we are helping another person. Maybe we are helping our future self.

What about all those times when a friend’s needs make you set aside your own? Do you have stories of giving up time, sleep, or other needs to help a friend through a problem?

When you tell a story of doing something that you didn’t want to do, include some information about your attitude. Were you grumpy, hesitant or joyful? Did your attitude change as things progressed? Was it the same at the end as in the beginning?

When you have written a page, give it a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add an illustration or decoration to the page. Color is nice. 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. 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, homework, etc. She will be teaching writing classes at the Recovery Center in the spring. Email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com for more information.
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Write for You: Mighty Winter

by Nancy Casey

The winter we are experiencing on the Palouse is a mighty one. Plenty of folks are beginning to feel worn down by daily snow-shoveling, hazardous driving, and the scary mincing steps one must take on an icy sidewalk to avoid a concussion or a broken hip.

This is a good time to pause and remind yourself that if you are feeling exhausted by the winter, it’s because you have been fighting back. The fact that you are dealing with it is proof that although the winter is mighty, you are mightier still.

Today, write about the opportunities this winter has given you to prove how mighty you are.

Obviously, there is physical might. Breaking ice and shoveling snow. Pushing your door open when there’s a snowdrift on it. Propelling yourself forward through a foot of snow. Watching where you are going in the stinging wind. What you do effortlessly on a 70-degree day, requires physical might in the snow. If you are doing it, you are mighty.

What clothes and accessories help to make you mighty? Your coat, your boots, a perfect hat or pair of gloves? A ski pole to walk with? A broom to sweep your car? Chains on your shoes?

What problems have you solved? Getting to work on time? Getting your groceries in the door? Thawing water pipes?Showing up to meet a friend? Dealing with a power outage? Not getting frostbite? All of these things are hard in winter. Anyone would complain! If you do any of them, you can also tell a story of how mighty you are.

For anyone who dislikes the season, and especially for those who struggle with a disability or illness that makes every wintertime activity a chore, winter requires psychological might. Some people wake up every winter morning facing genuine fear and dread related to the weather. And they find a way to make it through another day. The exercise and fresh air that keep a person grounded can be impossible to get. Winter can make a person feel small. It takes considerable strength not to curl up and give in. It’s worth writing about how you manage to do that.

One of the mightiest things you can do in winter is play. Have you been outside in the snow and cold and found yourself laughing? Have you thrown a snowball, rode a sled, skied over hill and dale? When you do such things, you are definitely mighty.

Today, write a page about the many different ways you have been mighty this winter. Use the word “mighty” to refer to yourself as many times as you possibly can.

When you have finished, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add further 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. You can find more of her work here. In the spring, she will be teaching at the Recovery Center—after the weather eases up! 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.
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Write for You: A Big Fat Pen

by Nancy Casey

Is there really enough time in the day to do all the things that are good for you? Meditation and relaxation. Yoga and stretching. Take a walk. Catch up with a friend. Cook some nutritious food. Work on a craft project. Sleep.

There also must be time to do the things you have to do. Laundry. Go to work. Take care of certain people. Clean up after yourself. Show up for meetings and engagements.

Then there is your writing practice. Of course it’s always a good idea to write a page. In the act of writing we say to ourselves, “I am here.” Over time, the collection of pages gives you a record of who you are.

If you find it hard to make the time to write a page because you live in a continuous avalanche of “oughts” and obligations—get a fatter pen. A big fat pen.

Today, write a page using the biggest pen you can find. Or a crayon, maybe. Even your finger could work. (What could you dip it in?)

Today, write with something nice and fat. Something that forces you to write big letters. Something that will fill up the page really fast.

Lay out your page before you begin to write. Draw a line where the title will go. Set off some space for illustration. You can always doodle around in the illustration space while you are thinking about what you will write.

Write anything you want. Whatever comes to mind.

If nothing comes to mind, begin by writing down the names of things that are in front of you. You won’t run out of things to name before you run out of space on the page. Especially if you decide to add some comments or description to what you name.

You will fill up the page in no time at all. Maybe you will say, “Look at that! I’m already done!”

I hope you will also say, “This was really easy. No need to make a big deal of it.”

Maybe you will even say, “No reason not to do this again tomorrow.”

Give your work a title when you have finished. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add further decoration and color to the page as needed. Here is an example of what a person’s page could look like.

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. She will offer writing classes in the spring. You can find more of her work here. She also available to give (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories novels, homework—for more information email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com.

Write for You: About That Groundhog

by Nancy Casey

Have you ever been like the groundhog in the story about spring? The groundhog who wakes up, leaves its burrow, sees its shadow, runs back inside and makes spring stay away for six weeks. That is, unless it’s cloudy. When there’s no scary shadow, the groundhog stays outdoors and spring comes right away.

How does the groundhog remind you of yourself?

Notice that the groundhog isn’t a quitter. When the groundhog sets out into the world and something scary happens, it goes home to rest and think about what happened. Later it tries again and things work out.

Have you ever had that experience?

Maybe the groundhog has been reminded since the day it was born to stay out of the bright sun to avoid predators. “If you can see your own shadow,” the adults would say, “dive for cover.” If the groundhog goes outside when it’s cloudy, it learns its way around. When the sun comes out later and the groundhog sees its shadow, it knows of many safe places to go. It doesn’t need to run all the way back home to bed to stay out of danger.

Has anything like that ever happened to you?

Have you ever been in a situation where a whole lot of people had all kinds of opinions about what you were going to do, but all you wanted was to be focused on one step at a time? That’s what happens to the groundhog. It just wakes up in the morning and does its normal best. All kinds of people pass judgement, positive and negative. Everybody is talking about the groundhog. They hold the groundhog responsible for something it has no control over. (Maybe that’s the real reason why the groundhog goes back to bed to hide.)

How do you think the Spring feels about all this? Spring has been working and pushing all season, trying to warm up the world and when it succeeds—that timid little groundhog who slept the whole winter through gets all the credit!

What about all the other groundhogs? Do they select someone to go out first? Is it a job that groundhogs want? Is the first groundhog some kind of rebel, pioneer, or outcast? Do they throw a going-away party? If the first groundhog stays out, do the others quickly follow? Are some parents more strict about safety than others?

Even in a year when the groundhog runs right back inside for six weeks, sooner or later all the groundhogs are out. Sooner or later spring comes, too. By then, we’ll have forgetten the groundhog story until next February. What other stories remind you of February?

Today, write a page about something that has something to do with the groundhog story.

Lay out your page before you begin to write. Draw a line where the title will go. Set off some space for illustration. You can always doodle around in the illustration space while you are thinking about what you will write.

Give your work a title when you have finished. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add further 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. She will offer writing classes in the spring. You can find more of her work here. She is also available to give (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories, novels, homework, anything. For more information email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com.

Write for You: No Such Thing

by Nancy Casey

If you made a list of everything that exists, it would be pretty long. Would a list of all the things that might exist be even longer? The list of things that can’t possibly exist is probably the longest of all. Those are the things you will write about today.

The phrase that you will use to push yourself along is, “There is no such thing as…”

First, set up your page by drawing a line across the top where the title will go. Mark off some space for an illustration or doodle that you can add later. That space can be any shape that you want.

Then get started. Write the words, “There is no such thing as…” While you are writing them, an idea for finishing the sentence will probably occur to you.

What can’t possibly exist? Gazillions of things. If you have a hard time thinking them up, jiggle your mind a little bit to loosen its hold on the way things ought to be.

Look at something in front of you. Ask yourself what it isn’t. (There is no such thing as a couch that does the dishes.)

Think about the story of your life, past, present, and future. What is definitely not going to be happening to you? (There is no such thing as a person turning into a muffin.)

Think about the laws of the universe and all the things that don’t happen because of them. (There is no such thing as a human swimming to Mars wearing only a hat.)

After you have thought up an impossible thing, write another sentence that adds to it or comments on it a little bit. For instance, if a person wrote, “There is no such thing as money growing on trees.” For the added part, they could put, “Because if there were, I’d be out there harvesting right now.” Or they could add, “But it sure could be fun if I was wrong.” Or, “Even if you use lots of pennies for fertilizer.”

Continue filling up the page, first naming something that doesn’t exist, and then expounding on it a little bit.

When you have finished, give your work a title. Make sure the date is on it somewhere, too. Add an illustration or other decoration and color to the page. 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.