Wreck this journal

Published by Lori Pickert on April 22, 2009 at 08:15 PM

Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal is full of prompts to help perfectionists and nervous nellies get over the fear of making a mistake and ruining a blank journal or sketchbook.

You could also just write a whole lot of journal prompts on little slips of paper and put them in a jar. Pull one out each day or just when you can’t think of anything to do or draw. We used to do this at school; in fact, I think I have a big jar of prompts somewhere around here.

Sketchbooks/journals are valuable tools for project learning — it’s good to build your skills by exploring everything you can do with them! The more comfortable you get with facing that blank page and filling it up, the better.



Comment by Theresa on April 23, 2009 at 01:10 AM

Ok, that looks totally cool! I think my son would really like that. Heck, I think I would really like that!

Comment by Amy on April 23, 2009 at 01:32 AM

Do you have a good source for writing prompts? I've been pondering this lately and it would be soooo much easier for my weary mind to not have to come up with them myself. I know I could, in my other, well-rested life. ;) But now, not so much.

I just requested _Boy Writers_ by Ralph Fletcher from the library. That might help too.

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 23, 2009 at 01:36 AM

thanks, theresa! :^)

amy, let's do a post tomorrow and ask for suggestions. :^)

you can google "journal prompts" but i think a lot of the school-ish suggestions are a little boring. but you probably know what would appeal to your kids the most!

i'll come up with a list and throw it out there and we'll see who else can contribute some creative ideas!

Comment by Amy on April 23, 2009 at 01:38 AM

Cool, Lori! Thanks!!

Comment by Sarah Jackson on April 23, 2009 at 02:40 AM

Her books are so great. We have How to be an Explorer of the World (or something to that effect) and I love it, as do the kids. We have a jar with numbers on it, and when we want something fun and different to do, we'll draw a number and go to that page for our adventure. I've learned to see the world with new, more attentive eyes.

Comment by Queen of Carrots on April 23, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Looking back at past journals, I feel like my problem is being TOO random and free-form. Any given notebook will probably contain: Notes from some random conference; scraps of poetry; notes on a book I gave up taking notes on three chapters in; a math problem; the beginning of a story never finished; some random doodling. Meanwhile there are probably related scraps to all of these scattered in some other notebook, multiple files on the computer, online, etc. I can't even use the same handwriting from one page to the next.

It seems like journals would do more good if like things were just slightly grouped together, but whenever I want to put something down I just grab whatever is handiest and my mind never seems to travel down the same exact road twice. Now that I'm trying to figure out how to a) keep school records and observations and b) introduce the idea to the children, I wonder what I'm really supposed to be doing. Do I need to learn to keep track of multiple ones, or should I just embrace randomness? :-P

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 23, 2009 at 01:24 PM

maybe stage one is learning how to loosen up and use a sketchbook or journal as a way to get thoughts on paper, and stage two is moving on to using it as a tool for a particular project.

i separate my different journals because i produce way too many notes and ideas :^P and if i didn’t have different books, i would never be able to find anything again! my focused books are much more useful tools.

maybe you should just try one focused book first and see how it goes!

Comment by Mary on April 23, 2009 at 02:28 PM

Thanks for the links. I think I'll order How to Explore the World for my son and Wreck this Journal for me. I have been a sporadic journaler, partly because I want things to be just perfect. We can both expand our skills with this.

Comment by Lori Pickert on April 23, 2009 at 02:44 PM

hi, mary! :^) great! i’m glad you like the books — it’s good to shake off that perfectionism! (i keep trying, myself. maybe we should start a group therapy blog? ;^)

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