There is place frolicked by college students and homeless people alike, a place that assembles collections of thoughts from human history that welcomes you to sit and ponder your own life, thoughts, and if you’re writing a story, your story. Since we are creatures of mimic, this place is a tremendous prize for a writer, since everyone there is working, you can’t help but force yourself into “the work mind.” It is a temple of focus.
But not only that, you are paying for it (with your taxes). Not only that, aside from screenwriting at your local library, the institution offers limitless inspirational or even thoughtless benefits, which ultimately lead to the betterment of your story. There isn’t much that goes wrong for your story in the library. Here’s why you should…
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
I really think the reason why libraries aren’t used enough is because they’re free. And people look down on free things, for some reason. They’d rather pay $5 for a latte at Starbucks where the contagious feeling is not always to work. A place where you just gave a corporation $5 for a glass of sugar feels better, more social, there’s music from every era imaginable, there’s life (supposedly) whereas the library is quiet, concentrated and “serious.” It’s probably reminiscent of detention.
But I’m going to break that myth right now and give you 5 REASONS why taking advantage of your local library can amplify your screenwriting and in fact, it’s superior to most places when it comes to the act of screenwriting.
1. If you work at home like I do, here is a place that welcomes you to visit for the sole purpose of working. You get to get out of your house, take a journey somewhere to work, and park your ass in designated place – and no one will ever judge you for it. No questions asked. As long as you’re there to work, you can be there as long as they’re open. No rent necessary, no double latte necessary, and there’s everything here (I will elaborate on this).
2. The WI-FI code is optional. Yes, if you need WI-FI to write your screenplay (I still don’t know how the two coalesce), there is one available for you. But you have the option of not finding out what that is and just SCREEN WRITE. I suggest the latter. Trust me, this is one amazing suggestion. Try it.
3. Remember when I said there’s everything here? Well, I already covered the WI-FI, but libraries also print stuff for you. You don’t have to wait in line at Kinko’s or anything if you need pages printed out. Now, I don’t really print out stuff anymore, but I know writers that still need that. Check.
4. Remember when I said there’s everything here? Did I already say that? There isn’t just books at the library, there’s DVDs. Movies you can rent. For free. In fact, after Netflix decimated the DVD market (by eliminating their nemesis, Blockbuster, then refusing to renew most titles), only a handful of video stores still exist. The majority of DVDs survive in the library. That’s because people who thought they’d never need a DVD again donate to their library. So, if there’s a movie you can’t get anywhere, the library probably has it. What? They even have new movies you can rent. Wow, this is where my taxes go? Why pay Amazon $4 when you can watch movies for free? Actually, you already paid for that rental with your taxes. But why pay twice?
5. And here’s my favorite reason why the library is downright evangelical for a screenwriter. When you feel like taking a break, you wander through aisles and aisles of books, galaxies of words, letters, and after enough trudging, drowning in all the thoughts, ideas (and dvds) around you, you can’t wait to get back in that seat and just write. And you do. Because you’re consumed in words, adjectives, vowels, etc.
Yes, it helps that you have to shut up and turn off your phone in the library, but in the end, its the gigantic, celestial hug of words that immerses you in the world of words… words that were created, sweated over, or just jotted down for the fuck it. I feel sorry for screenwriters that don’t know this mecca exists and welcomes them. I’ve written in libraries all over the planet. In Budapest, Istanbul, Paris, Lisbon (where you can buy a great lunch with red wine for $3) and I can tell you, it’s a universal wonderment. My writing is doubly good in these places. The big L makes a world of difference.
We’ve assembled all 13 of our screenwriting tips in this monster of a page to help you improve your screenwriting habits and enjoy the craft more than ever.
Written by: Norith Soth