Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The New Project

I started this blog for several reasons.

1. With all of my free time, I had been reading a lot more.  I felt that writing about what I read would make that time seem like time spent productively (whether or not this is true remains a mystery).

2. I used to love creative writing in high school. That love of writing had since been sucked away thanks to university and the wonder that is the 30+ page report.  Getting back into writing about things I care about in a creative way seemed like a nice way to rekindle my love of writing.

and 3. It was supposed to be therapeutic.  And I think it has been mostly so far.  I read things, feel things, write about things, and then chat about them with whoever feels so inclined to respond.  Books as therapy is not a new concept.  Just take a stroll through your friendly neighbourhood bookstore self-help section and you'll see what I mean.  These books can be outrageous, preachy, ridiculous, sincere, honest, indulgent, and yes, sometimes helpful.  I've been known to snub my nose at some and swear by others (Re: He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo - It's a seriously funny and, I'm afraid, truthful hard look at understanding men, or at least trying to).

But why am I talking about self-help books?

Well, two Christmases (Christmi?) ago I received a self-help book as a gift.  Its goal was to encourage the readers, presumed "perfectionists," to "live more recklessly."  The book was Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.  I thought this was a hilarious gift!  A book with complete instructions on how to destroy it page by page.  And how appropriate to give it to me, the girl who will read a book awkwardly from cover to cover without cracking the spine, "dog-earing" a page, or laying it out, splayed openly to save my page. 

Well, I would accept the challenge this book offered, and so I began my journey.  It took me 2 days to figure out how to crack the spine the best way.  I suffered through writing the page numbers on each page, just so, as the book instructed.  I coloured a few pages, stepped on some, spilled coffee on others, and then, just 9 tasks in, I quit

I still don't know if I quit because I simply got bored, forgot, or because the challenge became too much.  I'm sure it was one of the first two options (as the last one seems a bit dramatic, even for me).

But today, in an effort to fulfill the mission of my blog, which is something about using books to gain a better understanding of myself and the world (and let's face it, pure entertainment value), I am vowing to finish wrecking this journal. A task a week until it's finished.  And as the book says, I will dedicate my journey "to perfectionists all over the world."

Taken from the introduction to Smith's Wreck This Journal

1 comment:

Lisa Anne said...

This reminds me of a similar project that I intended to do. Over a year ago, I bought a book called '101 Things to do Before You Die'. I originally intended to give it as a gift, but then decided that I should hold on to it for myself.

My first intention was to fill out the details of all of the tasks that I have already completed. I believe that I started this part but never finished it. Of course, the next step was to complete as many of the other tasks as possible.

Your journal wrecking has inspired me to pick up that book again. Thanks!