July 19th, 2011
Wreck this App is here!

Update: Wreck this App just made USA Today!!! Wow!

Just around a year ago now I received a really flattering email from a designer in Britain. He had just read “How to be an Explorer of the World” and really resonated with my ideas. I responded instantly to his writing. Part of the email read like this:

“’I am Chris from Citrus Suite. I’m 39. I’m lucky to be alive. I live with my wife and two young children in Liverpool UK. There is a kitten in the world who will be moving in with us next month. I want the next collaborative project I work on to be remarkable. And fun for all involved.”

I think he had me at “remarkable”. Because lets face it, who doesn’t want to be remarkable? He explained that he wanted to do a project together based on Explorer. The beautiful part of the story is I had just received an email that week from Penguin asking if I knew of any app designers that could develop “wreck”. Do you see how my life works magically at times like this? The universe hand delivered someone who totally gets my ideas and was ready to jump right in! I love it. It was a match made in heaven. Working with Chris has been fun and easy (my part anyway, I’m sure his part was much more complicated). All of this happened when I was busy teaching and being pregnant (read: extremely nauseous).

It has been many months in the making, but the day is finally here. We have had many rounds of trials and testing and playing and reworking and tweaking. As this was my first foray into a new medium, as you may know I am a book girl so moving into the technological realm was completely uncharted territory. I was a bit nervous about how my book would translate into a new environment. My main fear was, how would the concept work in losing the “artifact”, (the book itself becomes something you really bond with over time and takes on its own life.) How would it work with the ipad?

Many years ago I made a promise to myself that I would never do “product for product’s sake”, meaning I would not put out things just because I can (i.e. the world does not need another t-shirt with my designs on them, or a watch, or a mug). There has to be a reason for it to exist, the piece has to be unique, it has to have its own inherent meaning. My favorite designer Charles Eames said that designers should always ask themselves “why should this exist?” So with wreck this app my intention was to create something that worked with the same premise as the book, (allowing people to deal with their fear of the blank page, and not have to think too much about whether what they are creating was good or bad, but instead just to make a mark), but hopefully making the sharing part of it much more accessible. What I love about the new medium is that, like the book, it goes with you everywhere. And when I saw what people were creating with it in our test runs it made all my fears about it disappear. This app is successful in making the concept much more shareable (you can share completed pages instantly with anyone or any social medium), and also more immediate (you can take a photo and be drawing over it in seconds).

As you may already know about me, I am actually about less technology not more. I’ve always seen my books as offering an antidote to too much screen time. My beliefs about that have not changed. But if I am going to be someone who is on the end of shaping culture via my releasing my ideas into the public realm, I believe it is important to work to create things of value. As our culture progresses more into the technological realm I would like to be one that helps it to retain some meaning. And as always there will be those who see my work as nothing more than a frivolous time waster. But I can assure you that there is a lot of research, thought and experimentation that goes into all of my books. To explain the thinking behind “wreck” I often refer to this quote by John Cage in which he describes his music as,

“Purposeless play—this play is an affirmation of life—not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvement in creation. But simply a way of waking up to the very life we are living, which is so excellent once one gets one’s mind and desires out of the way and lets it act of its own accord.”

The exercises in “wreck” are designed to “get your mind out of the way”, “a way of waking up to this life” and just experiencing a moment of play. Using the idea of “creative destruction” we can learn to release our control of the outcome and be more in the present moment letting things “be as they are”.

And if that doesn’t work for you then just follow Sol Lewitt’s advice…

“Relax, and let everything go to hell!”

Read more about “Wreck this App”…

Get it at itunes.

Penguin created a really cool page for Wreck This App.

While you are there you can enter the Wreck This App Sweepstakes for a chance to win the app for free!

We already got a really sweet write up at Publisher’s Weekly!

I have been flooded with email from readers who are requesting other versions of the apple (android, etc.) At this point it is only available on apple products. But I am told they are working on other platforms for the future, so I’ll keep you posted.

Jul 19 2011
9:25 am
Amy@Pikaland writes:

Keri, this is amazing — congrats! I’m off to download it, and am looking forward to playing around with it. As for moving away from technology, I think a better way to think about it, is that it’s healthy to step away from consuming too much media, and instead take a breather from time to time.

Nourishing one’s soul is a creative habit and is platform-blind; no matter if it’s done on a pen and paper, or done on an app – as long as it encourages creativity, then by all means, go nuts.

Jul 19 2011
10:12 am
Shari writes:

I love it. I kind of had a similar epiphany several years back when I was always a little paralyzed when I just wanted to create. I decided to take an old calendar book I had and each day, do some altered pages to it…. nothing that anyone would ever see, and with no judgements, and just work on it every day. It took the pressure off… just having no blank pages to start with. It opened me up creatively over time…. it was so nice knowing that it didn’t have to be GOOD. It was just me, expressing my inner creativity, because I must. This app looks like a way to do that, and I am going to check it out now! Thank you so much!

Jul 19 2011
12:41 pm
Jamie writes:

exciting! i understand where you’re coming from with technology & i agree completely. it needs to be shaped into something meaningful.

i just bought the app, can’t wait:)

Jul 19 2011
1:10 pm
Jacki writes:

Hi there. You also have a write up in USATODAY.


Jul 19 2011
7:20 pm
Ava writes:

oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!

so far i am loving the this is not a book!!!!!!!!

sooooo much fun and confusing- in a good way!!! hee-hee- tee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOVE YA!!!!!!!!!!

Jul 20 2011
7:45 am
Heike Bräutigam writes:

Keri, we really love the app.
It´s so much fun playing around with it and thinking about what you can do with the the pages… You both, you and your british designer, did a fantastic job in finding the right form for it. Congrats! – Your German publishers

Jul 21 2011
1:49 pm
francesca dileo writes:

just bought the app. love everything you do.

here’s a sample..

Jul 22 2011
3:53 pm
Mary Ellen writes:

The timing of this couldn’t be better for me. Just visited the soon-to-be shuttered Borders that has been my second home for over 10yrs and, as if I hadn’t bemoaned the digital revolution enough for its corrosiveness to the soul, now it destroys one of my vital sanctuaries…and then I read the news about Wreck This App and the way it came to be. Of course soul-tending needs bridges into the future. It always has. And it’s no surprise to me that you are on the cutting edge of that, and I’m grateful for it. Books have been my soul food for as long as I’ve been on the planet and I know how much you love them, too. Thanks for your bravery in moving into territories unknown and coming up with this. I’m glad that the universe rewarded your courage and creativity by connecting you with your partner on this project. Many thanks.

Jul 25 2011
1:19 pm
petra writes:

I got the app today! Great! I like it very much!

Jul 26 2011
3:50 am
Mireille writes:

Hi Kerry! I’v just got it and can’t wait play with it! Great great idea! After the book, I’v got the idea to create my proper “naive museum” in a blog, so let’s see what this app will cause in me (sorry for my bad english, hope you understand the idea?)
Take care and merci, merci beaucoup! Mireille

Jul 28 2011
6:26 pm
Vickie @ In My Head Studios writes:

I just got this app yesterday and cannot believe how amazing the graphic user interface is! You can select things and shrink and make them bigger! And copy and paste! I am simply totally impressed. New favorite app! Already a huge fan of your book! Thank you!!!

Aug 1 2011
4:30 am
May writes:

Thanks so much for this! I just downloaded it from iTunes and can’t wait to play. I am a long-time fan of yours and actually stopped by to see if you had something in your shop for six-year-old boys… nope, still more girl-oriented stuff apart from maybe the Guerrilla art kit which we already have. Any chance of targeting the boy gender sometime in the future…?

Aug 4 2011
12:46 pm
Jen E @ mommablogsalot writes:

This app sounds really awesome. Will you be making an android version at any point?

Aug 7 2011
12:31 pm
Lizzi writes:

Spotted this in the app store last night. Instant purchase from someone who rarely buys apps!

Having gone through two WTJ’s, it was nice to see some familiar pages, changed to make them great on the iPad. Spent several hours getting to know the app and falling a little but more in love with it as I continued!

Thank you for moving into this new medium! It truly is marvellous!

p.s. Any chance of a Wreck this App flickr group? or can we add images to the journal group?

Aug 10 2011
1:14 pm
robin writes:

I love the app! I am still wrecking my journal and wasn’t sure that would translate to my phone or ipad, but it sure did. My thanks to you and Chris.

Sep 23 2011
1:36 pm
Terri writes:

I would love to have your app but it’s only available for apple products; are you planning on making it available for android or windows users?

Nov 17 2011
6:31 pm
Emily writes:

I’m so bummed out…I couldn’t wait to pick this up for my ipad but when I click the link to itunes from this page it tells me that the app isn’t currently available in the US store. Any idea what’s up with that…?

Jan 30 2012
7:49 am
Kayli writes:

I got very excited when I saw this app existed. Even though it’s available for android phones, I’m unable to get it because I’m in Canada. Please, please, please, Keri, can you fix this? I’m a WTJ/Mess/TinaB addict, and this app would greatly help with my destructive creativity.

Feb 16 2012
3:33 pm
David (aka @threedot) writes:

Android version please?

Love your books, bought them all for my daughter (I’ll have my own set soon). Please keep your wonderfully creative stuff coming!!

Feb 17 2012
1:49 pm
kerismith writes:

There is an android version available (at the android marketplace and barnes & Noble).

Feb 26 2012
7:03 am
Indigo writes:

Is it available in Australia? I have Finish This Book and I am desperately trying to find Wreck This App!!!! :D

Mar 23 2012
8:25 am
Anise writes:

Would LOVE this app to be available in the Australian iTunes store. Hoping that we Aussies can play too…

Apr 22 2012
10:35 am
Fae writes:

I really, really really want to get this app!!! But of course, I would need an Iphone first………
I am about half way through the actual book and I abseluetly love it! Its so fun, and for someone who gest bored frequently it is a great escape. The creative things that you come up with are so amazing and stimulate my mind.
I look forward to purchasing ‘finish this book’ as well as ‘this is not a book’ when my parents let me!

Oct 27 2012
11:57 pm
WabiSabiWoman writes:

Also being anti technology (especially for young children) your app is the 1st good reason I’ve seen to buy an ipad. Interesting. Love the blog, also.

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