August 25, 2007

OCD is a weird disease

Okay, so I found this book in the craft section of Barnes and Noble the other day. It didn't take long to know that I had to own it.

It's called "Wreck this Journal: To Create is to Destroy", by Keri Smith, and it's basically a "journal" of sorts, but the kind where each page is an opportunity to do damage to the book. For example, one page instructs me to tie a string around the spine of the book and take it for a walk, letting it drag along behind me.

This book is pure genius, and is perfect for someone like me. I like to consider myself an artist, but in truth I create very little. I stare at a blank canvas and agonize about what to put on it, afraid to taint it with anything less than perfect. Unless an idea is clear and distinct in my head, and I know it's something I can do, I don't create much of anything. I never just let my imagination go without restraint.

However, this book is an exercise in destroying; in purposefully making something NOT perfect. And in the process, I hope, my creativity can take flight, and my canvases will not be blank.

Here's where my OCD comes in. There are pages that tell me to eat things that stain and then paint with my tongue, or document what I had for dinner by actually smearing parts of it into the page. But today I discovered that I had done this by accident, and I was devastated. The book had been in my canvas tote bag, where yesterday a small to-go box full of sweet potato fries had also been. Apparently, one of those fries escaped, and hid itself in my book. Now there are grease blots covering a good 15 pages, and I cannot bear to look. DS laughed and told me how ridiculous I was being, and he's right. It is, after all, the point. But somehow the accidental destruction of my book is much different than the intentional destruction of my book...

Well, as the warning at the front of the book says, "You may grieve for the perfect state that you found the book in." And it's true, I do. But it also says, "You may begin to see creative destruction everywhere. You may begin to live more recklessly." So I shall attempt to use this as a creative opportunity.

I have such faith in the concept of this book that I want to start buying it for every person I know who's even the slightest bit creative. And even for people who aren't necessarily creative. And especially for people with a tendency towards perfectionism, like myself.

If you feel like you need a little creative destructivism in your life, or maybe you just need something that's okay to destroy to release some tension, you can get the book here.


mlk said...

SG - I applaud you. This is very important, to realize that "perfect" or "better" is the enemy of "done".

Something that is done, is better than nothing that is perfect.

kimberlina said...

mmm... my moment came when i killed a roach w/ my journal.

it still has roach juice stains on the back cover. that fucker totally deserved it. i almost bought a new one, but decided i liked it. it represented kick-ass me. :) grease stains just mean that you like to eat well. i'm seriously drooling over your fries right now. can i lick your journal?

Spinning Girl said...

That sounds so waonderful. It makes me want to run nakedly through the woods!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your destrcutive, creative journey.
The other SG