In my first Wreck This Journal post, (Letting Go), I promised to explain the rip in the binding. In the original image of my journal, there is a rather large tear at the bottom of the spine. Never in my life had I allowed something so destructive to befall a book and I should have been horrified. However, a wild bout of activity has a funny way of changing a long held opinion.
At one point in the journal, there is a page that literally gives instructions to attach the journal to a string and swing it wildly. The book lover in me cringed, but the curious explorer within was already looking for the yarn I knew was hiding in the closet. I nestled the yarn along the spine and tied it into a good knot. The last thing I wanted was for the yarn to come undone and send the journal flying towards the two other people in the room.
With the yarn secure and a tight grasp on the ends, I started to swing the journal over my head, around in circles, and with flailing zigzags all around my body. The journal hit the walls and the closet doors several times, all while flapping open and closed. As for me, I giggled with primal joy.
Upon inspection, I found the yarn had torn an inch long gash up the binding! The destruction was severe, but to my utter and complete surprise it felt great. I decided it gave the book some real character and provided the first real evidence that it was living up to its title. I documented this adventure with some markers and a silver metallic pen so as to never forget my journal’s wild flight. Like so many other journal activities, this one changed my perspective in a profound way.
The idea of breaking so many rules (without hurting anyone) reminded me of how much freedom there is when it comes to creativity and imagination. I can do anything. I can create anything. I can. I can. I can! These are powerful words and they kept repeating in my head as I whipped the journal round and round.
This experience made me go back and think about how much freedom I allow myself when I write. Sometimes we get so caught up in wondering what everyone else will think or whether a publisher will be interested, we forget the true essence of what it means to write. A writer can create any character, any story . . . anything. For a long time, I jumped into my novel nitpicking every “right” way to write a story. Then, I realized I didn’t set out to write my book because I could figure out a novel formula. I had a story to tell and I had to give myself the freedom to tell it in my own voice and in my own way.
I can. I can. I can.
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