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:
- I couldn’t start writing as early as I like because I’d have to wait until the library opened at 9am.
- I’d expend time driving to and from.
- I’d have to pay attention to the parking limitations or risk a parking ticket.
- I’d have to lug so much stuff with me.
- I wasn’t organized enough to remember everything I’d need to have with me.
- I’d be abandoning my husband and dog.
- I’d feel guilty.
I think it was number 7 that swayed me. Why should I feel guilty?
GO TO THE LIBRARY!
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:
GO TO THE LIBRARY!