I have been doing the “Procrastination Dance” for quite some time with my writing so thought it was time to inspire my muse. I got out my “Wreck This Journal” and decided it was time to unleash some creativity. I flipped through the pages several times and found my inner critic telling me to just put down the book and walk away. Why? Because my inner critic is a perfectionist and the Journal asks for some reckless creativity which is in conflict with my need for organization and control. I have a few post-it notes with ideas on pages throughout the Journal, but had yet to actually put anything permanently on a page. My inner critic wrote on those to make sure what I put on those pages was perfect and complete. My muse laughed and read the first page of the Journal again – “To Create is to Destroy”. So my muse and I set out to do some creating.
I wanted to dive right into my Wreck This Journal and chose a page that would push my comfort level to an extreme. I had contemplated starting with an “easy” page but reminded myself the whole reason I even bought this book was to push my limits and allow my inner critic and my muse to come to some sort of understanding. I ended up easing into it rather than taking the leap and just added some colour to the first page. That even took some time as I started out carefully and pondered for quite some time as to which colours might look the best and yes, the neatest. ((sigh)) Well, it was a start.
While I was carefully colouring I started thinking about my books and when I consciously became aware that paper, ink, and words were my passion. In University I had a small obsession which demanded I keep my textbooks in pristine condition throughout the semester. Partly that was fuelled by the thought that I could sell them to the next round of students at a premium price but quickly realized that booksellers had churned out new editions by the time I walked out of the bookstore . I still sold the texts from classes I’d prefer to pretend I never took aside from the small reminder on my transcript, but as for the ones I kept, even today I’m asked if I even opened them let alone read or studied them. Spines are not cracked, covers are not scratched, pages were never dog-eared and heaven for bid a professor suggest we underline important passages with a highlighter. Yes, I was the one breaking copyright law by photocopying pages to highlight or using very faint pencil markings that I could gently erase at the end of the semester and post-it notes were my favourite tool so long as they were not the super sticky kind. I never haphazardly threw my books in my bag or on the floor of my car and they all had their precise place on my bookshelf (and still do).
My mind wandered back to my Wreck This Journal. I think I’m making progress because it has never found a home on my bookshelf. I have carried it around with me in my bag, it has landed on the back seat of my SUV (but never the floor) and I have even allowed my daughter to flip through the pages without demanding she wash her hands first. I have coloured on a page with permanence and it actually felt pretty good! I even cracked the spine. I doubt I will become as reckless with any other book, but here’s hoping I can start to embrace the creativity in destroying this book. 😉