June 2, 2011

Finding my writing space

I don't like writing at home. I find it hard to muster up the motivation to sit down on my bed or in the sitting room to work on my novel or a short story. I always get distracted by something or someone or I just end up saying, "I think I'll watch Absolutely Fabulous instead." My usual favourite is to write in cafés; sometimes sitting there sipping absinthe but usually you'll find me with my usual poison of choice, coffee, while I feel like a bohemian cliché. However to my disadvantage I end up spending money. I've recently been wondering if I could find a place where I could go to write, where I might remain both focused and inspired, with the added benefit of not spending a mini fortune on caffeinated products.

A colleague in my writers group pointed out one useful advantage of my new doctorate (yes, I am now a Doctor in Physics with summa cum laude!) is that the National Library of Spain would grant me a library card with "access all areas" to the archives, purely because I have a doctorate. I decided this would in fact be an fantastic idea and potentially could be very lucrative. To get a standard library card is not really an issue, but why go for a standard library card when I can get the special "exclusive" research status one?

The National Library is a beautiful building, designed in dramatic neo-classical style it's unmissable if you go down the Paseo de Recoletos. I realised having the opportunity to take my MacBook and just sit down and write without distractions in a beautiful building surrounded by books is not to be missed. I applied online this morning, I submitted all my documents electronically only to receive an "OK" for my application and that my card was ready to be collected.

After lunch I packed my computer and went down to this gorgeous library. The security was tight, and the building was stunning. I sat down to one of the mahogany desks in the main reading room (more like a reading hall) and edited two chapters of my novel and finished my short story set in Venice. The place was a delight to work in, and I imagine I'm going to make it my new home shortly.

Sometimes it's good to find the right space. Cafés are great if you don't mind spending copious amounts of money on coffee or wine, but the library is free and focusing. I don't think I'll give up my café lifestyle completely, but my wallet would thank me for picking the latter. The place you write in is important, so make it the best you can get - and what better than the national library?

No comments: