Wrecked Journal

WP_000540I accidently washed my notebook – the one I jot down ideas and concepts for writing projects. Always in my back pocket, I just didn’t check the pants before putting them in the washer. I don’t think I lost any of the key ideas I wanted to use – some of the text is still readable and I can remember a lot of it, but the leather-bound journal is wrecked.

This reminded me of one of Spencer’s books – Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith, an innovative book, different from your ordinary journal. It has pages with instructions such as:

– Spill your coffee on this page.
– Scrape along the ground.
– Eat some colorful candy and lick the page.
– Tape the Journal closed and mail it to yourself    (without an envelope).
– Take the Journal in the shower with you.

There are many more but you get the idea. Now, I bought this book for Spencer (my 12-year old son), but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing him demolish this book in absurd ways. More than that, I just relish in his laughter as he does it. He gets it.

While these activities seem pointless on the surface they are not – it’s giving you permission and encouragement to do things you would never intentionally do with any book. Washing my notebook was an accident, so that doesn’t count.

WP_000544As the author, Keri Smith says:

“Life is about… doing. Action. Finishing. Experimenting. Trying Something. Immersing. It is about absurdity. A creation. Evidence that you exist. Using material. Destruction. It is about fun.”

Now that’s pretty cool. Maybe I’ll buy a copy for myself, too.

© 2011, Mitch Lavender

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2 thoughts on “Wrecked Journal

  1. This is indeed an interesting way to get kids to not fear writing, but to go at it with strange and cool ways.

    You already take this attitude toward your own writing; I wonder if you know that?

    You’re a great dad–and I can’t wait to someday read your son’s response to this journalling adventure.

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