I like trying new things, they give me a creative boost. I think it’s essential to get out of my comfort zone so I can think about the world differently, learn about new perspectives, and be more creative in general.
One small way I learn about new things is to visit new places. Sometimes I travel big, like going to new countries. Sometimes it’s small, like going to a new library in my larger community.
That’s why in January I grabbed some writing friends and visited a new-to-me but old library, the Andrew Bayne Memorial Library in Bellevue, PA for a creative boost.
It’s technically called the Andrew Bayne Memorial library, and is named after a sheriff of Allegheny County, Andrew Bayne. His daughters donated the building. I read an article online that it was haunted, and I wanted to give it a visit. I’m not really a ghost story lover, and I do but don’t believe in ghosts. I’ve done some reading about the ghosts at Jean Bonnet tavern on the turnpike, and started – but couldn’t finish – the ghost tour at the Omni Bedford Springs.
But I wanted to check this place out. One of my friends apparently worked as a ghost hunter for a short time and was convincingly skeptical, so I wasn’t really nervous while I was there.
It really felt like a library in someone’s house. It reminded me so much of the house we lived in while we were in Brighton Heights. The tall ceilings, the wonky-aligned doors. The gorgeous stairs and stained glass windows. It really is beautiful.
The librarian greeted us the moment we stepped in, and that made it beautiful, too. I had a wonderful time visiting the building but I’ll be honest, I didn’t get much writing done. My friends and I spent a lot of time chatting, but to be fair, we chatted about writing.
I did not see the ghost of Amanda Bayne Balph, who is supposedly haunting the building since a massive elm tree nicknamed “The Lone Sentinel” was taken down in 1998. Perhaps all of the talking scared her off.
Bonus Creative Boost
I did discover this poster listing 100 words every ninth grader should know. My eighth grader did not know all of them, so I have to plan to get him, me, and a dictionary together to learn some new words. Learning about new words is a great creative boost, so this was an unexpected bonus!
Going to a new library and breaking myself out of my routine was helpful and keeps me from thinking things always have to be the way I’m used to seeing them. Meeting new people, trying new things, visiting new places is a great way to boost creativity.
How do you get out of your routine?
How do you stretch your creativity and imagination?