Wreck This Journal: Week 4 – Diving In


During these past few weeks, I’ve grown quite attached to my journal and it now goes with me everywhere.  It’s like having a little creative companion to inspire me throughout my day.  I look over and hear my co-conspirator asking me, “Hmmm, what mischief shall we get into today?”

After surviving a shower with my journal, I ventured into taking it for a swim with me last week.  This was quite a leap considering I seriously contemplated putting my journal into a ziplock bag before bringing it into the shower!

I swam a little on my own first, scoping out the pool.  Being the good rule-follower that I am, I even found myself glancing over to the pool rules sign to make sure there wasn’t any wording about bringing strange, foreign objects into the pool!  I felt self conscious as I brought the book into the water with me, concerned about what others might think.

But in the end, I just took a deep breath and plunged right in, journal in hand.  It was quite exhilarating!  Then we lounged together poolside and worked on our tan.

Here’s a quick video of me checking out the damage ;).


My journal was sopping wet, so my husband suggested wrecking it further with a hairdryer.  I’m amazed at the volumizing effect even without a diffuser or mousse!


Here’s my journal at the beginning of my Intuitive Painting class with Chris Zydel.


And here’s my journal after a good, messy session of painting.  What fun!!

Through all this play and destruction, I’m learning some helpful lessons from creative wreckage that apply to my life in general:

  • Thinking, anticipating, fretting, and plotting about something that stretches me is usually a lot scarier than actually just doing it.
  • By stretching myself, I discover new edges that challenge me and empower me to grow.
  • I feel even more invested in my creative endeavors after I’ve taken a risk (whether it turned out the way I wanted it to or not).
  • I’m capable of way more than I think I am.

What life lessons are you learning from your creative wreckage?  I’d love to hear.

21 thoughts on “Wreck This Journal: Week 4 – Diving In”

  1. i marvel at this project. all our different apporaches and actions are wonderful but i’m most touched by the thread that runs through so much of our collective commentary – the attachment we’ve developed with our journals. how this mass produced sort of hokey book of suggestions and instructions has morphed into something of value, something that expands us, something that allows meaningful communication and creativity.

    bravo and the swim.

  2. Sounds very familiar to me, what you’ve learned.
    For me: Just be creative in the way my daughter (7) is: not thinking about: what will become of that or worst: who is going to BUY this (my thoughts are almost on that in my everyday life with my craft), but just let it flow, do what I want, be spontaneous, live for the moment and let go the result.
    And: wow, the results are not that bad, it’s amazing. There are more and more pages I really like in my journal.
    And that’s the fun.

    PS: I really like the colour stains coming up after your journal was getting wet! Amazing!

  3. I second your lessons!! I am amazing myself with what I am truly capable of….and it always turns out better if I don’t agonize over it first. Big lesson there on following my intuition — which I’ve been very guilty of ignoring in favour of *doing what’s best* ie. what someone else says I should do….

    Casting off my chains….:)

  4. Uhm… you did WHAT???? The pool?

    Oh, I am not daring enough. I am still trying to make meaningful and beautiful and I have a hard time risking the ruination of things that I like. Damn it.

    I have to try harder.

  5. It has really surprised me, too, how meaningful this has become. When I joined, I thought it would be just a fun diversion, but it has become so much more. It’s been a release, a motivator, a way of connecting with people, a lesson in how I interact with posessions, an inspiration, a stretcher… and so many other things.

  6. Wow, the pool. I have struggled with the “crack the spine” assignment…I’ve been going through and picking out the “safe” assignments. Those are about to be gone and I’ll have to “dive in”! Btw – your journal looks awesome!

  7. You are the cutest Jenn!! Carrying the journal around everywhere reminds me of being in high school & having to carry a stinkin’ egg around for a week…yeah…that is how they handle sex ed in the midwest!!!! I guess if this experiment (like the egg) was a good prediction of what kind of mamma you’ll make…we best keep that untouched!!! ha!


    Peace & Love.

  8. love that you took it in the pool. i really haven’t gotten my wet yet – except for the coffee. but i gotta say i like the look of it after you fluffed it with the blow dryer. perhaps that’ll push me in that direction. thanks for sharing!

  9. Who would have thought that a few odd prompts in a book could teach us sooo much? I have learnt loads and I am also learning to love the random changes that happen to artwork through the powers of destruction…

  10. Wow! What an inspirational post
    I’m a person who likes to keep to the norm, not do anything outrageous, not stand out. This journal wrecking is opening up new doors. When I read a page I want to just go for it and do it, not thinking (too much) about what people think… and it feels so satisfying and liberating. Seriously… I am so surprised by that. I honestly didnt think a book could do that:-)

  11. I think the biggest thing I am learning is that I really do have a fear of wrecking anything!
    But I am trying to let go – finally took it in the shower today – and it is drying outside!
    Loved your video and sharing.

  12. I have seriously contemplated putting WTJ into a ziploc as well LOL – funny how you went from that to swimming with it! Bravo!!!

  13. Swimming, sunbathing..i’m jealous, all we haev her is 100 degree weather! Isnt it fun that bystanders are willing to jump right in with ideas?
    great wrecking and insight

  14. I am really hoping that I never randomly stumble upon the page that requires me to take my journal into the shower. While I am all in favor of wrecking the journal, I recently noticed that my family and friends have been secretly participating and documenting their journey in my journal. For instance, I just noticed today that my mom drew little pictures in my journal. The same ones that she would draw on my napkins and place in my lunchbox before school. This is too precious to destroy. I can’t reclaim those napkins from childhood but I want to preserve the re-creation in my journal. I need to institute a new rule for my journal…NO SHOWER TIME!!! STAY DIRTY!!!

  15. I just love journeying with you and your journal. Swimming and sunbathing, what great fun for creative companions.

    “Thinking, anticipating, fretting, and plotting about something that stretches me is usually a lot scarier than actually just doing it.” I so relate to that. I’m going to print it up and glue it in my journal to remind me of your wisdom!

  16. I love the way you tell this story. Checking the sign to see if it’s okay to bring a foreign object in the pool, then tanning yourselves later. What fun!

  17. i love the “volume” that is so wonderful!!! the picture with the toes and book- looks the most relaxing…..ah, summer.

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