After my recent trip to Mexico, I realized that much of my writing life is built around routines. Sometimes that serves my poetry well – I know whether or not I’m on track as defined by my own goals by the number of poems I submit, or start, or revise in a given day during certain hours.
When that routine is disrupted two things can happen – for better or for worse, my images move away from ones I normally use, and I’m able to collect new ones by seeing the world in a different way. In Mexico, I was seeing things I’d never seen before, surrounded by an unfamiliar language. The poems grew wild and weedy in my journal, but I liked the way they felt like a field full of wildflowers. (One that I’d never have to mow or weed or harvest. I was completely wrong.)
I wrote about this feeling over at the Sundress Blog, but I think it’s worth examining – how often do you disrupt your routines? What does this do to your creative life? How do you discipline yourself again? Do you? Should you?