Aside from setting a page on fire, this is the biggest mess I’ve made with my Wreck This Journal. The page instructed me to rip it out, put it in the pocket of my jeans and then wash them. I figured the page would come out looking the way a one dollar bill does after a wash cycle – a little soggy, crumpled, and maybe a little fuzzy. Silly, silly me.
When I opened the lid to my washer, all my clothes were covered with little white specks. My Wreck This Journal page had shredded into a million pieces! All I could do was laugh as I stood there and picked out every last piece from between the wrinkles of jeans, t-shirts, and socks. After about half and hour, I had a lovely pile of moist confetti. Lesson learned: Never wash flimsy paper in the pocket of your jeans. In addition, I learned my sense of humor runs a little deeper than I thought. I didn’t get mad, nor did I have a fit at the mess.
I preserved my little learning moment on a blank page in my journal. I put what was left of the washed page in a little plastic bag and stapled it down. Then I drew a pair of jeans and documented the experience.
This little mess got me thinking of how my first draft manuscript looked after an extensive overhaul. When I first printed it out, it was so clean and pristine. Then I got to work and turned my beautiful draft into a disaster area of scribbles, scrawl in multiple colors of ink, arrows, highlighter marks, notations, folded corners, sticky notes, and what I refer to as frustration graffiti (don’t ask). The mess I made on those pages is truly frightening, but its a mess that taught me more about writing than any class or how-to book.
There’s a lot to be said for making a mess, (even the neatnik in me agrees). When creativity is given free reign the possibilities are endless. So go ahead and make that mess!
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Incidentally, Keri Smith also has a book entitled Mess that builds upon the idea of recognizing the creative potential of a mess. So far, I have found it to be another enlightening little book.
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