I am having a love affair with the library. I go every single day that I’m in town. I bring my backpack loaded with my laptop, my notebooks, my calendar, my colorful markers, pens, and pencils, my headphones (a separate pair for my laptop and my phone because technology is awesome), coffee, and my water bottle. I put my phone on airplane mode, and I sit down, ready to charge.
It’s good for me to get out of the house to write and study. At home, there are distractions. There is laundry to do, plants to water, incense to light, and a kitchen in which to create treats. At the library, specifically on the fourth floor, there is only stillness and silence. It’s an empty canvas on which you, the artist, the student, the person, get to create whatever you want. I also ride my bike to campus, which puts me in a great mood and makes my body feel alive. Just another benefit of leaving the house. Also, when I do go home, I enjoy my sacred space so much more because there is no pressure that I should be working or guilt that I haven’t.
Each and every time I go to the library I walk all the way up to the fifth floor, which is the top. Then I turn around and walk back down to the fourth floor which is home to the quiet study space. I find my way to the back to a cubby where I can nestle in or to a table where I can spread out and put my feet up, depending on my mood. But I make sure to walk the stairs up to the fifth floor each and every time I go in because as one of my teachers would say, “I love my legs, I love my butt, I love my heart”.
It’s fun, too. It’s like I’m sharing a joke with myself that no one else knows. Everyone else automatically turns off for their floor but up I go, one foot after another until I reach the top floor and that small doorway that no one ever goes through (I went through once out of curiosity and wouldn’t you know, through the door there were more books!). It takes a total of 3 minutes or less but it’s creating a pattern and a routine. My heart gets a little bit stronger, my mind gets a little bit stronger, and no matter what, I always chuckle a little bit because I think I’m funny.
I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic” recently and in it she talks a lot about what it takes to live a successful, creative life. And, just as many other sources have said, you just have to show up and do the work. Inspiration doesn’t hit you when you least expect it, inspiration finds you when you show up to your laptop (or other place of work) every single day in a regular and routine way. Otherwise, how will inspiration know where you are?