One Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago, I arrived at Starbucks and I ordered an iced coffee and blueberry scone. I unpacked my laptop at a table in the back and settled in for a nice long writing session. I’m going to my first conference in a few weeks and needed to prepare my entry for the conference’s fiction writing contest.
I couldn’t get comfortable. There was loads of traffic. The baristas shouted to each other behind the counter. The music in the background was that annoying kind of jazz where the same bars of music are repeated over and over and over and over and over again.
I think I lasted about an hour. But I couldn’t go home yet. There, the voices of laundry and dust and dishes wouldn’t be silenced.
So I headed to our local library—a place I have visited once or twice in the fifteen years I have lived here. (I’m more of a book buyer than a book borrower.)
Our library was remodeled several years ago and is in pristine shape. It’s an aesthetically beautiful place where people go to read, to study, to write, and to have quiet conversations that don’t bother other people.
What a concept!
I arrived as the library opened at 10am. I walked among the book stacks and thought, “Every single one of these books was conceived by a writer who, at one time, had never been published. Each of these writers brought their dream to life.”
I found a study carrel in a corner near a window. (I haven’t sat at a study carrel since I was in college twenty years ago.) The hours flew by. I was grateful for the free internet connection and easy access to plug in my power cord. When I got hungry, I pulled out a protein bar—although I could have visited the library’s cafe. I didn’t leave until 4pm, after I emailed my entry for the conference’s fiction writing contest.
Pause right there. I entered my first writing contest. This was a big step! Rachelle Gardner’s May 4th post, Don’t Miss the Good Stuff, reminded me to savor this small victory. I need to relish it no matter what the outcome. It’s a sign of progress.
That day at the library was therapeutic; my heart and mind have returned there many times as I plod through my busy, noisy days. I have longed for that quiet coolness where I was able to be so productive and focused surrounded by the realized dreams of other writers. And it’s the place where I took a leap to make my writing known to someone who would judge it.
I’ll be headed back there soon.