Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The New Office!

Why on earth didn’t I think of this before? There’s a beautiful building five minutes up the road with desk space. It’s full of books, warm and free to use. The wonderful Rugby library!
I’ve been struggling with some symptoms of depression recently. Nothing serious, by any means, but enough to make me feel unhappy and lacking in motivation. It’s taken me a long time to work out what the problem is. And it’s quite straightforward. I spend far too much time in the house. I needed to get out more and see people. I’d become far too wrapped up in a virtual world where I did have contact with people (via Facebook and Twitter), but it wasn’t enough. 
Going to the library each day to write is the perfect solution for me. It gets me out of the house. It feels like going out to work. I feel like I’m taking my work more seriously. I feel like a student again. I feel as if I’m doing something important. I’m also surrounded by people who are quiet and don’t want to talk to me. 
Yesterday and today I sat still for over two hours at a time, writing, making notes and being immersed in my novel. At home I can’t sit for more than fifteen minutes. There’s always something else to do, be it making a cup of tea, hanging out the washing or Hoovering the lounge carpet. 
I can’t tell you how this has improved my mood. I feel a real sense of achievement when I get a scene written or resolve a major plot complication. The only downside is that I can’t use my computer in the library (I knew I should have bought a laptop!). I don’t mind writing longhand, but it’s a bit of a chore having to type it up afterwards.
It’s also quite useful to observe what library users are borrowing. My ‘desk’ is situated facing the Mills and Boon paperback rack and the Crime paperback rack. Today, the Mills and Boon rack was definitely busier. A lovely little old lady took nearly an hour to choose two Mills and Boon books. She brought them over to the table I was hogging (rather a large one with four chairs... I like to spread my work out!) and spent some time reading the first few pages of each, before making her selection.
I plan to spend every weekday in the new office (although how I’ll manage this in the school summer holidays, I don’t know!) and by the end of the summer I should have finished at least the first draft of the novel. Who knows I might just enter the Mslexia Novel Competition, which closes in September?


Joanna said...

What a brilliant idea, Jo. It sounds as though it's working really well for you and gives you a new and satisfying routine, as well as generating lots more words onto paper.
I would like to try it, but my problem is that I talk to myself when I'm writing and read first drafts out loud as if I'm on the radio. That sounds pretentious, I feel, but if I do it alone at home, I can get away with it!
I'm really glad you are happy with your new setting. It sounds both productive and uplifting and just what you needed.

Oldrightie said...

Lap tops are getting much less expensive!

Lindsay said...

Great idea. The more we use libraries for their space as well as books and other resources the better.

Lorna F said...

I'm delighted this is working for you, Jo. I've done this in the past too, because I am the Mistress of Displacement when I'm at home - the only problem about using Oxford's Central Library was, no loo! To have to pack up my stuff and go in search of (yich) public conveniences not very fun!

JO said...

Libraries are just the best. Somewhere there is a Save-the-Libraries campaign - well worth signing up to. If I knew how to do the link-thingy I'd find it at put it here.

Carys said...

Great idea! Perhaps I should try it too. And good luck with the novel and Mslexia.