There’s nothing quite like a beautiful journal. They beckon, but they can also intimidate. Sometimes what you want to write or doodle doesn’t seem quite important or beautiful enough to go on those gorgeous handmade paper pages.
Creativity is sometimes messy though. And to have the freedom to be creative, sometimes you need to write or draw things that aren’t perfect or pretty. And that’s why I like the Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. It’s a paper back journal with sturdy pages. The pages are printed with directions. Some of the directions are silly. One page wants you to collect those little stickers that come on fruit and stick them to the page. Some pages are introspective like the “what is your inner critic saying?” one. Some are a little gross. One page wants you to use it as a napkin. That page makes me laugh though, even though I don’t think I’ll be using it at dinner. That’s fine though because one of the journal instructions says that the directions are open to interpretation. The journal keeper is instructed to color outside the lines, to make vegetable prints, to make holes in the journal. You are even supposed to add your own page numbers.
To me the message of the book is to not worry about being perfect, or right, or even what I’m creating. It says to me to get messy and make mistakes and to have fun.
It’s a fun journal. It makes a fun gift, too. It reminds me to not take things so seriously. A few years ago I took a class on Creativity and Gifted Children. Over and over the professor said, “It’s the process, not the product.” If you follow the directions in this journal you are going to have a stained, wet, holey, ripped mess. But I think you’ll have fun on the way there. And you just might free up some creative energy for other projects.
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