Step Working Guide: Preface
The idea for this piece of literature came from the Narcotics Anonymous Fellowship itself. Beginning in the early 1980s, we began
receiving Twelve Step guides and step worksheets along with requests that we develop a standard set of guides for the NA Fellowship to
use in working through the Twelve Steps. Fellowship demand propelled this project up the NA World Service Conference Literature Committee’s
priority wordlists, and finally resulted in the World Service Conference directing the WSCLC to go ahead with the project at WSC’95.
The working title for this project for many years was the “Step Writing Guides.” However, we recognized that the word “writing” imposed
a limitation on members who may be unable to write or may choose not to use writing as the means for working the Twelve Steps. Therefore,
the title became the Step Working Guides.
Each chapter includes both narrative and questions. The narrative is meant to provoke thought about the questions, but is not meant to be
comprehensive. There is a difference in “voice” between the narrative and the questions. The narrative is written in the “we” voice in order
to promote unity about what we all have in common: our addiction and recovery. The questions are written in the individual “I” voice so
that each member using these guides can personalize the work. The Step Working Guides is a companion piece to It Works: How and Why. Thorough
discussion of each of the Twelve Steps is contained in that work. Additional information about NA recovery can be found in other NA literature.
If we find that any of the terms used in this book are unfamiliar, we should feel free to make use of a dictionary.
These guides are meant to be used by NA members at any stage of recovery, whether it’s our first time through the steps or we’ve been
living with the steps as our guiding force for many years. This book is intentionally written to be relevant to newcomers and to help more
experienced members develop a deeper understanding of the Twelve Steps. As NA grows in numbers, in diversity, and in strength and longevity
of clean time, we need literature that will continue to serve the needs of the fellowship1 literature that “grows” along with the fellowship.
However, as open and inclusive as we tried to be when writing these guides, we realized that we would never be able to write something
that captured every member’s experience with the steps. In fact, we wouldn’t have tried to do that, even if we thought it were possible.
This book contains guides to working the Twelve Steps toward recovery; it does not contain recovery itself. Recovery is ultimately found
in each member’s personal experience with working the steps. You can add to these guides, delete from them, or use them as they are. It’s
There’s probably only one inappropriate way to use these guides: alone. We can’t overemphasize the importance of working with a
sponsor in working the steps. In fact, in our fellowship, a sponsor is considered, first and foremost, a guide through the Twelve Steps.
If you haven’t yet asked someone to sponsor you, please do so before beginning these guides.
Merely reading all the available information about any of the Twelve Steps will never be sufficient to bring about a true change in
our lives and freedom from our disease. It’s our goal to make the steps part of who we are. To do that, we have to work them. Hence, the
Step Working Guides.
Like every piece of NA literature, this was written by addicts for addicts. We hope that every member who uses this book will be
encouraged and inspired. We are grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in this project. Thank you for allowing
us to be of service.
WSC Literature Committee