My Library AHA Moment
I uncovered the true gift of libraries
I’m determined to do a final edit of Tiger Drive by July 31st and thanks to the confidence and feedback the Tiger Drive Squad has shared with me so far, I know I can meet the goal and write this story to the best of my ability at this point in my life. But writing from home isn’t as ideal as many might think. There are endless distractions at home. Endless excuses to not get into an editing groove. Lame stuff like organizing my cupboards or wiping out the fridge and microwave, and shouldn’t I get the garage straightened up? Add a partner who works from home to the mix, and I’m stopping at specific times for lunch, to nap, and to go to the gym (I’m not complaining about these last three).
Being at home makes my shout-out to the world that I will finish editing Tiger Drive by July 31st feel a bit impossible. So what to do, oh what to do.
I left home.
I went to Ithaca’s public library, invested in six hours of parking (watching the clock to feed the meter was not an acceptable excuse to break from editing), found a table near an outlet so I could keep my computer charged (a dying battery would be an inexcusable excuse to stop editing), and sat down to edit. And guess what? I did edit for six straight hours minus bathroom breaks. I didn’t leave for lunch (I had bottled water and some nuts), and if I needed to stretch my legs, I walked about the rows of books for inspiration for five minutes here and there.
Throughout the day, the tenants at the nearby tables turned over. Individuals came and went. I was thriving on the energy in the library. But what was fueling the energy? Was it enough that I had no distractions? Was it the smell and sight of books surrounding me? Was it the pleasure of seeing people reading, writing, or doing research? I’ve always loved libraries and the magic they hold, but I will admit that in the past several years, I’ve been horrible about going to the library–it’s been too easy to spend money and order the books on Amazon. I think the silly break I took from libraries let me discover a subtle gift.
A library is one of the only places that individuals can go to turn inward. Introverts and extroverts unite in a library. Unless you’re there with a study group and working in a sanctioned ‘noise allowed’ area, the rest of the library is for going inside ourselves, pondering our thoughts, fueling our imagination, learning, and creating.
I edited over four chapters at the library; this is a record for me. It usually takes me an entire week to do one chapter. By going to the library, I gave myself permission to turn inward with the characters and to stay in their point of view(s). It was glorious. In fact, this clip from Toy Story 3 came to mind as I walked out of the library at 5:00 p.m., smiling and rejuvenated: