Wreck This Journal: Mess


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!

– – –

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.

Previous Wreck This Journal posts:

Letting Go

Keep Reaching

Ignite the Spark

Be Unpredictable 

Embrace Imperfection

c.b. 2011


30 thoughts on “Wreck This Journal: Mess

  1. It doesn’t surprise me at all that you went to such extents to create this post, what does however, is that you drew the jeans – and they actually look like jeans! Now you’re an artist too??? lol


  2. I love making messes . . . paint, glue, markers and pencils spread all over the place. I just don’t like cleaning it up. I don’t think I would have stayed calm through the confetti picking.
    Great Jeans.


  3. Thank you for telling what happened when you put the paper in the laundry. I was going to to that page next. I don’t think my mom would appreciate all those pieces of paper in the laundry. I’ll have to think of a different way to get it wet.


  4. Cindy Archer Photography

    I have left numerous receipts, papers, notes in my pockets and have had the pleasure of picking up similar messes! I have to tell you, you inspired me! I feel at kind of a standstill with my art so I went out and bought the journal! Can’t wait to get started on it! I bet mine won’t be quite as good as yours but should be fun and exciting to see the places it takes me! Thanks for the inspiration, you seem to be my new favorite place to find it!


    • I’m sure it will be beautiful! I never believed myself to be an artist at any level, but I found out I’m pretty good at doodling and making a mess. I hope the journal helps to pull you out of that standstill. Stay inspired . . .


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.