Another blogger posted about reading some of your own work at night before you go to bed as a way to let your subconscious resolve some of your creative issues. I tried that last night and, as I was trying to sleep, a line kept repeating itself in my head. I added another line to it, and I kept thinking, “Oh, I just need to sleep. I’ll remember it in the morning.” But, then I remembered that I never remember, so I went to the living room to leave my husband in peace, and wrote while our kitten circled me purring. Not only does reading good writing really help inspire me, reading my own helped remind me of the kinds of creative obsessions I have and gave me several lines to build off of.
Strangely enough, it started as another “dear baby” poem:
“Your father’s hands smell of sawdust. You will never be second best…”
I had the skeleton of it (mother talks to daughter after the daughter’s twin sister dying) when I wrote it out last night, but when I got up this morning, I word-mapped paper cocoon, leaf, arrow, oak, tattooed, and mouth from Selections From the Murder Book (a truly morbid and delightful chapbook), and found places to pull in those words. I didn’t use all of them (namely, leaf, arrow, and tattooed), but just having those out helped me make different sorts of leaps than I normally would.
I might try reading my work every night before bed…