Wreck This Journal

My Struggle with Perfection

I cannot count the number of times I’ve picked up a Wreck This Journal, carried around, then ultimately placed it back before final check out with my books in any bookstore I’ve walked into. (And trust me, I walk into a lot of bookstores, so this is at least… ten times.)

Well, it’s finally happened. I bit the bullet and bought one. (And after it collected dust on my shelf for a few months) I have started to wreck this journal.

This is not as easy at sounds. And after a month of flipping through the book, thinking about what I wanted to do for some of the pages, I started looking up videos and pictures of other people’s journals. One such video series I stumbled across is Bunny (grav3yardgirl on YouTube) mentioned that she started doing this but had to stop because seeing all of these beautiful creations made her own wreckage less than in her eyes.

I can completely relate to this feeling. One of my mom’s favorite anecdote about yours truly is me getting upset over a drawing because it did not turn out the way I wanted. This happened a handful of times of my youth. As I grew older I learned to hold in these artistic tantrums, but it was always so easy for obvious (to me) flaws to put me off of a project, thinking it was not worth finishing. (At least, not finishing to the best of my ability.)

This is true for so many art and writing projects, I can not even give you an estimate of the number I’ve abandoned over the years. Even now, it is one of the greatest blocks between me and finishing something I have started on the side. So, I decided to take Bunny’s lead and not look at other people’s journals, and just start on my own.

And I knew exactly which page to start on:

The instruction: “Fill this page with circles”

I don’t know why, but I love drawing circles. The margins of my notes in school were filled with them. So this is the one I immediately started on (after getting my hands on some colored pictures). I started with the page on the right. I had this crazy idea of a multi-layered, multi-colored circle page where it was difficult to see where one ended and another began. Half way through, I hated it.

I didn’t like my idea any more but had gone to far to do a complete redo. So I decided to say screw it and watch Bunny’s videos with her wrecking her journal. And then I watched other people wrecking their journals. And then I looked up pictures on Google, Tumblr, and Pinterest. I was stunned by how many creative ways people interpreted the book’s directions! I particularly enjoyed when people explained why they made certain decisions. Most said at least once that they messed up and the result was them–not fixing–but incorporating their mistakes into the finished product. Some of the journals were works of art, some of the journals were entirely wrecked, but most were just unique to the artists themselves.

So I kept going, jumping around to different pages, mostly for something to do with my hands while I took breaks from my To-Do Lists. It became very calming, just throwing myself into the journal, and a refuge for when the real world got a little too overwhelming. I continued to look up different journals for inspiration, never copying but using other journals as a spring board for my own ideas.


This was the first page I deemed “finished”. It’s simple, but I like it. There have been many renditions of this subject, not on this page, but other pages of other people’s journals. And in fact might exist in an almost identical form in someone else’s journal somewhere. But as I continue to work on the journal, even my “finished” pages continue to be altered.

The whole point is to wreck this journal. To interpret the instructions in your own way, so that no journal is the same, regardless if you try and copy someone or not. And I’m beginning to accept that. I’m pushing through with my circles, because I want to see what comes out. And if I mess up, so what? I’m supposed to wreck it.

A challenge, certainly. But one I am learning from every day.

I hope to update this blog at least once a month on my progress on my journal with a showing of the finished product at the end. These are my pages in progress thus far:

Stamps from mail! Guess I’m going to have to send more letters. 😉


Definitely not finished. But I have to buy a pencil sharpener first.


I’m enjoying the page for four-letter words more than I probably should.


My pressed leaves and other “found” objects. I painted the tree on the left.

4 thoughts on “My Struggle with Perfection

  1. This is very cool! My current artistic endeavor is making videos and I often balk at posting them online because such and such isn’t just right. But I keep making myself do it and hopefully it’s making me better. It’s like quantity in pursuit of quality!

  2. I freakin love this!!! They have these in the bookstore where my mom works (in MAHY-NAHT NORTH DAKOOOTA) and they always made me curious, but not quite curious enough to actually get one for myself. I’m so glad you got one and are enjoying it! I love love love what you’ve done so far and I’m sure will continue to love whatever you do in the future. Post more pictures as they happen if that makes you happy!

  3. gorgeous work!! congrats on biting the bullet and buying it! thats me with buying the Craft Inc. Business Planner Diary. i finally did it!!! will i fill it out?! who knows.. hopefully

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