Writing Exercise: Alternative Responses

First make a list of  emotions people feel intensely–e.g., anger, shyness, boredom.

Now consider Shelly, a woman who lives under a perpetual black cloud. She was in an automobile accident, not her fault, which required two back surgeries. Her father was diagnosed with cancer, told he had six months to live, and died in two weeks. Her boss decided to move to another state. Her vision blurred, and she learned she has a benign but inoperable brain tumor, which required a shunt to drain the fluid build-up that was causing the blurred vision.The shunt broke–twice. She went to the ER for heart issues and learned she has an over-active thyroid. The chest X-ray revealed a mass in her thoracic cavity, but her doctors feel they cannot operate until the thyroid problem is under control, lest she die while under anesthesia. An MRI two weeks later shows that the mass is bigger.

Write a sketch of Shelly–her personality, behavior, beliefs–that would result in feeling the various emotions in your list. Some will be no-brainers, but try to do this for the least likely emotions as well.


    1. Thanks. I appreciate it. And I hope my posts continue to be helpful to you. Comments such as yours motivate me to be attentive to my blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *