Wreck this journal!

November 22, 2014

I’m a perfectionist. I’m also creative. That’s a terrible combination, I can tell you. Every time I’d like to start a creative project, I either won’t do it, or I won’t finish it, just because I’m afraid of it not becoming perfect. This is the reason I never draw or paint, I stopped writing songs after my first one, I stopped writing altogether for years, my furniture just waits forever to be refurbished, I own a guitar for 15 years but I can’t play it and I have a huge collection of scrapbook items but no scrapbooks. When I was a little girl, I even had sticker books full of stickers, just because I didn’t dare put them anywhere. I was afraid I might not choose the perfect place for them and I would regret my choice forever. Yes, it’s that bad.

A whole bunch of goals on my list suddenly make a lot of sense, don’t they? Today, I want to talk about one of them: nr. 34. It states: Own a Wreck this journal and complete all the tasks in the book.

Tanya's 101 - "My Wreck this Journal, newly bought. This is a great book, designed to use your hidden creative talents and stop being a perfectionist."

It’s the perfect goal to get rid of my self-destructive perfectionism!  The book, created by Keri Smith, is full of assignments that let you destroy the book a little bit each time. You can do all the things you’d normally never do with a book: throw it, step on it, doodle in it, spill your drink over it, crack the spine and lots more. Of course, if you interpret the assignments in a creative way, you can actually make each page look stunning! Destruction suddenly gets a whole other meaning.

I decided this was the perfect book to get rid of my perfectionism! Okay, not to get rid of it entirely, but just to temper it to a healthy degree. When I knew I was going to put this book on my list, I got so excited that I couldn’t wait to start. I rushed to the store, bought the book and immediately started wrecking it! So let me show you some pages I finished so far!

Tanya's 101 - Wreck this Journal / Close the journal. Write/scribble something on the edges.

The first thing I did was write something on the edges of the book. The quote is a message to myself. It will make me remember the power of my imagination every time I see the book!

Tanya's 101 - Wreck this Journal / Close the Journal. Write/scribble something on the edges.  "Perfection is always there. Just use your creativity."

Notice the folded corner of the cover? I was so tempted to do this every time I saw the book. So I decided I just would! I wrote ‘temptation’ on the inside of the corner to remind myself why I did it. And since I disfigured the cover now, I reckoned I might just as well think of more ways to wreck the book and write them down on the appropriate page. I even mean to execute all these things, because there are still some pages left blank in the book!

Tanya's 101 - Wreck this Journal / Write a list of more ways to wreck this journal.

Another assignment in the book is: Collect dead bugs here. That’s probably one of the most disgusting tasks in the entire journal. I thought I would try and find a loop hole by interpret this in a creative way. But then I saw a mosquito in the staircase, while I was holding the book. This was too good to be true. An evil tiny monster was waiting to be killed and I carried the journal that told me too use it as a murder weapon. So I did that. And I did it again. And again. Until my page was full of gruesome dead bugs. I decided the minuscule beasts at least deserved a eulogy after the terrible crime I committed on them. This is the result:

Tanya's 101 - Wreck this Journal. Collect dead bugs here.

Then I decided to be colorful. I drew circles. A lot of circles. I had actually planned for this to be the background of the page and to cover it with cut out circles of beautiful paper. I was so happy with the result however, that I thought it would be a waste to cover it up. Tanya's 101 - Wreck this Journal / Fill this page with circles.

After I made the circles, I flipped to a page that said: Write carelessly now. So I did. And I did it bubbly. I never knew I could make these letters, I amazed myself! It’s great to discover what I’m able of just by fearlessly trying!

Tanya's 101 - Wreck this Journal / Write Carelessly. Now.

I was starting to get really proud of myself. But then it hit me. The last assignment. The terrifying words on the back of the book: Tape this journal closed and mail it to yourself. Why didn’t I think of this before? I can do the tasks in any order I want. I should have started with this one, when there was nothing to loose! What if I mail the journal and it doesn’t come back? Sure, I could buy a new book and start over, but I was just getting proud of what I had accomplished. But my goal states to complete all the tasks in the book. ALL of them. I reckoned I’d better do this perilous mission right now, before there would be any more beautiful pages to loose. So I taped the journal and I taped it well.

Tanya's 101 - Wreck this Journal / Tape this journal closed and mail it to yourself. Front.

Tanya's 101 - Wreck this Journal / Tape this journal closed and mail it to yourself. Back.

I decided to send it the day before my birthday. What a great gift it would be to hear my journal fall on the doormat! When I left the post office, I literally felt nauseous. What if I wouldn’t see my journal back again?

When I heard the mailman on my birthday, obviously I ran into the hallway very excitedly. I saw some random letters (not even a birthday card, what is that these days?), but no journal… A terrible fear struck me. Did this nightmare actually happen? Would it be… lost? With trembling feet I walked back into the living room. I tried to convince myself it would probably come the next day, when suddenly I heard a thud in the hallway. I ran back and there it was, as if it had never been gone. Either the mailman had forgotten this book when he first came to my door, or he has a dark sense of humor. I emitted a sigh of relief. It wasn’t even wrecked very much. Two pieces of tape in the corners had come off, that was all.

So I was able to start wrecking again! And I did. But I will save those pages for a later post. If any of you also is also creating a Wreck this journal, be sure to mention it in the comments. I’d love to see what you did with the pages!

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  • Reply keelzucht November 30, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    The eulogies!!! <33333

  • Reply Fiona Kirkwood June 17, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Love your blog xx must try some of these and get over the fear of the perfectionist xx lol

    • Tanya de Kruijff
      Reply Tanya de Kruijff June 17, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      Thank you so much! This book really beats the perfectionist out of you, I promise. 😉 But more importantly, it let’s you think outside the box and come up with creative solutions. If you’ve tried some pages, I’d love to see them!

  • Reply catchingcodyk June 17, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    It sounds like your well on your way to letting your perfectionist loose it’s edge. YAY! And I am serisously impressed with the dead bug page. It’s very pretty and not at all that disturbing. Can’t wait to see what else you can do.

    • Tanya de Kruijff
      Reply Tanya de Kruijff June 17, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Thank you! Yes, it’s really working! I’m so much more accepting towards my other pieces of art. I’m trying all sorts of stuff now I would have never dared before (like painting on a canvas, yikes!). It surprised me as well how much I loved crushing the bugs. I’m so glad you liked my post, I promise there is more to come very soon. I already finished so many other pages! If you’re also working on a Wreck this Journal, I’d love to see what you did. 🙂

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