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.

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.

Write for You: Put a Pillow Under It

by Nancy Casey

It’s common to sleep with a pillow under your head at night. Then your head rests on something soft and your neck is supported.

Lots of us use other nighttime pillows, too. A pillow between the knees or rolled up against the spine helps some people with back pain. People with injuries or aches often find it soothing to put a pillow under the part that hurts.

Lots of chairs have built-in pillows. Sometimes we add more: behind the low back and under the feet or wrists.

When you see images of someone healing from sickness or injury, you are likely to see pillows. Maybe you have been that person and you remember your pillows.

Pillows make life a tad easier. Bringing someone a pillow is often a gesture of kindness. In cartoon-heaven where everything is perfect, people wander around on billowy, pillowy clouds.

Today, write about the many different places you could and do put pillows.

Perhaps you will explain personal pillow discoveries and describe where you habitually put the pillows that give you comfort, either asleep or awake. Maybe you will tell about pillows that you have arranged for someone else.

You could also write about imaginary pillows. Can you think of a situation that would be a whole lot better for everyone involved if somehow a few pillows could be slipped under it?

Maybe you know someone who has something stressful and important coming up, like a job interview or a big exam. Maybe it’s someone who is having difficulties in their life. Maybe that “someone” is you, maybe not. Where could you put an imaginary pillow and how would it ease things along? If you could give the pillow special powers, what would they be?

Imagine all the different ways—big and small—you could change the world by adding pillows. Write about some of them.

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.

Write For You: Sleep Habits

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by Nancy Casey

Many different types of habits and rituals come and go from our lives, but the one habit that we have kept since the day we were born is the habit of sleeping.

Most of us sleep for at least a quarter of the day. Maybe a third. Maybe more. Every day.

Today, write about some of the things that you do that have to do with sleeping.

How do you know it’s time to sleep? Do you sleep at the same time every day? How do you get ready? What do you wear? Do you have favorite pillows and positions? Do you dread it or look forward to it? Do you take naps?

When we are asleep we lose most of our awareness of the world around us. But not all. Sometimes we have to roll over and adjust the pillow or the covers. All sorts of discomforts can intrude—from aches and pains to having to use the bathroom. Sometimes our sleeping selves listen for sounds made by others in the household. What kinds of things are you aware of, even when you are asleep?

Some people talk in their sleep. Others get out of bed and do things without waking up. Does that ever happen to you?

What is waking up like for you? Do you bolt out of bed at the first sign or wakefulness, or do you emerge in slow stages? If you use an alarm, how do you react to it? Do you have any habits or rituals about the way you transition from being asleep to being fully awake? What happens when they are disrupted?

What do you do when you go to bed and sleep doesn’t come? Some people get up and do something else until they are tired. Some people lay there and fret. Some people have restful and sleep-inducing practices that they do in their beds, such as breathing, counting, or reciting poems and prayers. Perhaps what you do when you can’t sleep depends on what you know you need to do the next day.

What do you do when your whole body wants to be asleep, but the situation says you can’t? Situations like driving, taking care of children, or being at work, for example. Are there situations that always make you want to sleep? What are you like when you don’t get enough sleep?

Even though everyone sleeps, sleeping patterns are personal and often unique. Pick one aspect of your sleeping life and describe it. Maybe you’ll fill a whole page writing about that one thing. Perhaps your page will look more like a list with many different details about your sleeping patterns. Maybe you will write about a dream you’ve had.

Whatever you end up writing, 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.

Write for You: Where’s the Fire?

by Nancy Casey

Fire is warm. It burns. It glows. It can smolder, or explode.

Write a page that describes some of the fires in your life.

What kind of fire keeps you warm as the season gets colder? Many different kinds of things can keep such fires going—wood, electricity, fossil fuels. Do different fires warm you in different ways throughout the day?

Where are the fires that cook your food?

Think about all the things that you see during the day that give off light. What is burning to make that light?

You burn energy inside your body, too. And people talk about neurons that “fire” when we think and act. Do you have a sense of those kinds of fires burning inside you?

Sometimes the word “fire” is used in a descriptive way. What burns inside a person who has a “firey personality?” What happens inside a conversation when it turns into a “firey exchange?”

Where are the flames when you feel a burning desire for something? What kind of spark causes a person to burn with rage? What catches fire when somebody or something “crashes and burns?”

What glows? What shines? Every time you aren’t engulfed in total frozen darkness, there has to be some kind of fire somewhere.

Write about some of the different fires that burn or have burned in your life. From the tiny fires that keep the inner and outer world going. To the big conflagrations that change everything at once. And all the medium-sized fires in between.

When you have filled a page, 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.

Share what you have written! Post 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.

Write for You: Present and Past

by Nancy Casey

We often talk about the past and the present as if there is a clear dividing line between the two. Yet the past adds richness and depth to our present moments, so it’s never completely gone.

Today you will write a page that plays with the way the present and the past are braided up together.

Begin with the present. Take in your immediate surroundings. What objects are you aware of? What sounds do you hear? Can you detect any movement? What’s on your mind?

As soon as your awareness lands on something present in your world, write down what it is. It’s best to write whatever comes to mind first, rather than trying to come up with a “good idea.” Any idea will work. Write a line or two.

Then look up, look around, and let your awareness fall on something else that’s in the present tense for you. Drop down about 3 lines on the page and describe what you noticed.

Look up, notice something new, leave about 3 lines of space, and write that down. Fill the page this way—although the page won’t really be “full” because there is a lot of white space in it.

Change to a different color of pen.

Go back to the first thing you have written. In the blank space that follows add some information that has to do with the past.

Read the second thing you have written about the present. Add an idea that has something to do with the past.

Continue that way down the page, adding a thought about the past in the blank space after each thought from the present.

You will end up with a description of a series of present moments, along with some information about how each moment is woven into the past.

When you have finished, read over what you have written and 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.

Write for You: Ask About Your Surroundings

by Nancy Casey

Today, you are going to write questions, lots of questions. Questions you do not know the answer to. To think up questions, you will begin with your surroundings.

Look at something in front of you—whatever your glance happens to land on—and ask a question about it. Any question at all, as long as you don’t know the answer. If at first it seems like you can’t think up a question, give yourself time, a question will come to mind.

For example, if your glance happened to fall on a book, you might be able to ask a question like one of these: Where was it printed? What’s the tenth word on page 56? What is the author like? When will I get a chance to read it? Should I keep it or give it away? Who got it so dirty? How many minutes has it been sitting there?

Your question doesn’t have to be profound. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you. You aren’t obliged to find out the answer. Any old question will do.

You can ask a question that begins with: What if…? How many…? When…? Do…? Will…? Can…?

You can ask a question about the past, the present or the future.

Just look at something in front of you and ask a question about it. Then look at something else and ask another question. Fill up the page that way.

Sometimes when a person starts to do this, their mind begins to wander and they think up questions about things that aren’t in front of them. If that happens to you, write down those questions, too. When you run out of questions and don’t know what to ask next, look at something in front of you and ask a question about that.

When you have filled the page with questions, read them over. If there is space, and if there is time, and if you feel like it, draw the answer to one of the questions somewhere on the page.

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

Please share what you have written. Post 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.