The Quest for the Right Location

Carnegie Library

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

I was always told that having a designated spot, in which to do my homework, was a necessary part of the academic process. I never understood this, as my on-the-go lifestyle prohibited me from always doing my homework in one quiet, well-lit place. I was always working with what I had at that moment, whether it was a noisy common room or the hallway outside of a class that was about to begin.

I think that I have reformed my views because of the magnitude of this project. Writing a novel seems to me like such an enormous mountain to climb that I am now ready to listen to any advice I can receive.

As I was starting out, I planned on working at my kitchen table, or at a café, or outside at the benches. I was relying on my past habits. It was recommended to me that I find a quiet space, somewhere that I would work on my thesis and stay completely focused. I relented and thought I would give it a try.

I chose the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, a stately building that speaks of the echoes of the Carnegies and the Mellons of Pittsburgh’s first glory days. I knew when I saw it that it was where I had to write. I walked into the library and discovered that International Poetry Room. It was a quiet room and I would be surrounded by the radiant words of those who had written before me, the true masters. I was sold.

I love writing in this room and I am so thankful I found it. Working in the library has made my writing time more productive and focused. I think this aspect of the writing process will remain with me as I continue to write in the future.