Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wreck this journal!

I have a confession to make: I love office products.  Paper.  Folders.  Binders.  The delicious feeling of organizing things.  Making them look pretty and in their place.  I have a pile of empty notebooks and journals -- some I've made, and others that I've purchased because they looked like the perfect vessels for my thoughts and lists and notes.

They pile up because I just can't bring myself to open them and write in them, sometimes.  I keep saving them for that "perfect" subject.

When I heard a couple of years ago about Keri Smith's book, Wreck this Journal, I knew it was going to be right up my alley.  She produced this blank journal, with different instructions on ways to fill it for each day, to get people like me to break out of this holding pattern of hesitation and just start creating.

As I said, I've known for a long time I wanted to do this project -- but imagine my surprise this summer when my 13 year old son Ben saw me holding a copy at the bookstore and grabbed it out of my hands.  "Oh!  Wreck This Journal!  Can I buy this?"

I asked him if he knew what it was, and he told me he did, as he fingered through it excitedly and said, "I've always wanted to do this!"

Well, that was just the icing on the cake.  I could hesitate no longer.  So, we have been doing it together for the last couple of weeks.  Ben keeps me accountable -- grabbing my copy and handing it to me as he grabs his.  He is so enthusiastic about it, and his excitement is contagious.

Get this: Ben and I were both queasy at the thought of one of the first instructions: break the spine.  It killed us, but we both did it!

Forget saving it for just the perfect time or subject: Smith's prompts are simple, designed for you to be able to carry the journal with you everywhere you go, and use anything available to make your mark in the journal for that day.

Can you guess what my rubbings were?

This has been my favorite prompt, so far: drawing circles.  I thought it would be tedious, but I found so much relaxation in the rhythm of drawing all those circles.  Listening to the scratch of the pencil on the page.  It was almost mesmerizing.  And then, I began to see things in my circle pattern. I began to imagine not just pattern, but tactile impressions as well.  Suddenly, I understood how this could be the jumping off point of creating something new.  I think Smith would be nodding and saying, "Uh huh, get it?"

I really love doing this journal, and I know it's a project I'll finish because Ben will keep me going!  Unlike me, he keeps reading ahead and giggling to himself as he anticipates pages like this:

And, once we're done, everyone will know, as we end with a flourish:

Ben and I: two peas in a pod.  Neither of us can stand the thought of putting our journals in the mail -- what a statement on letting go of your creations!  But I know we'll do it.


Marion said...

What a great idea! I love office supplies, too. I just bought 40 composition books for 25 cents each to use for decoupage and journaling all year. (I make them for my nieces and grandchildren with their pictures decoupaged on front and back...they love them). I love 'back to school' sales. It's my favorite time to stock up!

Thanks for sharing this. It's inspiring. Blessings!

Angela said...

That book is too cool! I bet my trio would like that too! I may have to look for that, for Christmas gifts. Looks like a fun family project. :o)

Christine said...

Congratulations!!! I have had this book for over a year and haven't done one signle page in it! You've given me hope and as soon as I find it again (*giggle*), I'll do the projects!

Micki said...

What a neat idea! That journal book looks like so much fun!

Pretty Things said...

I have this book! I must admit I didn't like the page that told me to take a bit out of it.

Melinda Cornish said...

what a fun really gets you to go crazy!