“When in doubt, go to the library.”*
Part 1 of the Pursuing Inspiration series.
When I’m suffering from a lack of ideas or a serious case of writer’s block, the first place I go is the library. These storehouses of knowledge are filled with inspiration captured in print just waiting to be discovered. Wander the shelves for a bit: search out some unfamiliar range of the Dewy Decimal System; dig out that list of books you planned to read last summer but never got around to; revisit childhood favorites. Chances are, you’ll find something that will spark your imagination.
But don’t think that books are the only things available in libraries. Just like a movie, a book is enhanced by a soundtrack – most libraries have music collections, and there is a growing trend of MP3 downloads of music and audio books being made available online to those with a library card. So set the scene of your discovery with an album you’ve never heard before, and let the inspiration flood in.
And remember: nothing beats spreading stacks of books and notes over a quiet corner table, especially if that table is by a window. Some libraries have small conference rooms that you may be able to borrow for this purpose, and some have adjoining coffee shops; at the very least, most have desk space available. I am blessed to have a library not 45 minutes away which offers coffee, a hot lunch menu, sweet baked goods, and free wi-fi in a cafe setting on the main floor.
*From the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.