Sometimes the body and brain need to be otherwise entertained in order to mull other creative subjects. As I’ve posted before, I dream up various ideas while driving, and I know someone who finds inspiration when knitting. In addition, I’m a firm believer that creativity begets creativity. However, I feel guilty when following other creative pursuits when I should be writing. It means I don’t do much as I’d like, when the fact is, sometimes you just need to get away from the words.
So when I found Keri Smith’s book Wreck This Journal I got very excited. It elicits small bursts of creativity which can fit perfectly - and guilt-free- into my day when the need calls, without distracting from the writing time for too long.
Firstly it is a book, which immediately makes me feel like it is connected to writing. (Yes, indeed, how easily I fool myself...) And it has instructions and I do like instructions. However, after that, it is an all–out creative free-for-all. Essentially the idea is to abuse the book. In some instances that means literally beating the crap out of it. Yes, I know it sounds like sacrilege, but then often the fear of embarking on something creative comes from the reluctance to make a mess of the blank page, or breaking rules, and this book encourages- actually demands- exactly that.
The first instruction is to break the spine. Yes. Break. The. Spine. Wilfully. Eeek! That immediately had me nervous, but aah, it was so deeply satisfying. After that you can pick and choose as you go, (no, you don’t even have to read it in order – oh, the naughtiness!) tearing pages, ripping them out and giving them to strangers, chewing them, sewing them, composting them, decorating them in many many delicious ways.
So after a while the pristine book looks... well, less pristine. It becomes unique to you and in fact you become prouder of it the mankier and gnarlier it becomes. I am still looking for a high place to drop mine from, and fyi the ribbons are so that I can wear it rucksack style (of course, what else?)
In true review style, this is one that I Highly Recommend – for anyone, even if you don't think you are creatively inclined. You’d be amazed at your capacity for wreckage and how liberating it can be.