For six months or more I have been struggling to make progress on my historical fiction. I tried shutting the door to my office, but my dog whined and scratched until I gave in and opened the door. I tried ignoring the phone when it rang—without success. I turned my cell phone off and found myself distracted by random thoughts of calls I had placed and were the return calls coming in while my phone was off—meaning I’d be off and running on a game of telephone tag.

I’ve read so many articles on ways to focus on my writing. I won’t bore you with all the reasons why they didn’t work for me. We’re all different.

Then my husband made an off-the-wall suggestion. GO TO THE LIBRARY!

I had never even been in our local library. I guess I should be embarrassed by that statement.

I counted off all the reasons why it wouldn’t work:

  1. I couldn’t start writing as early as I like because I’d have to wait until the library opened at 9am.
  2. I’d expend time driving to and from.
  3. I’d have to pay attention to the parking limitations or risk a parking ticket.
  4. I’d have to lug so much stuff with me.
  5. I wasn’t organized enough to remember everything I’d need to have with me.
  6. I’d be abandoning my husband and dog.
  7. I’d feel guilty.

I think it was number 7 that swayed me. Why should I feel guilty?


I remembered a recent article I read about the positives of writing in a library. That making a habit of going there also made a habit of prioritizing your writing. That a few hours in the tranquility of a library can send you into a zone of productivity. While you’re there, you can live in the world of your novel. No one will talk to you (unless you break a rule – including wearing a mask). People actually respect the silence and each person’s individual workspace.

So I tried it—halfheartedly but I did it. I settled into my chosen nook, plugged my computer in (but did NOT connect to the internet – too much temptation to check email and such), placed my pile of notes next to the computer, and started to write.

Two hours later, only a full bladder brought me back to the real world. I couldn’t believe how much I had accomplished.

Coming up on two weeks later, I’ve written more in that time than I did in the past six months. I went from two hours to three-hour blocks. I’ve only been able to go four times due to other commitments. But I’ve accomplished so much even in the limited time. I need to find parking that isn’t limited to two hours so I can do longer blocks of time without having to move my car every two hours.

Will I maintain my enthusiasm about this new writing plan? Time will tell, but I’m hopeful.

What a simple and obvious solution to my writing dilemma:


About Dawn Essegian Lajeunesse

I, like so many others, am a novelist struggling for recognition. My last three novels, THE EYES HAVE IT, IN HER MOTHER'S SHOES and STAR CATCHING, are available in e-book format through Amazon and other formats by request here or on my website. AUTUMN COLORS was my first novel and is still available through Amazon and B&N in multiple formats. My early writings are women's fiction, one also suitable for YA. My work-in-progress is a historical fiction about the Armenians who settled in Troy, NY in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Come visit me at my website: www.dawnlajeunesse.com.
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2 Responses to GO TO THE LIBRARY!

  1. Deborah L Wright-Hinds says:



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