Writing can be tricky at times. It can be a grueling and monumental task that often requires the stars to align.
It can also be socially isolating and mentally exhausting.
This is why we’ve discussed the topic of persevering through the difficulties of writing and of life in our article on How to Stay Motivated When Life Gets in the Way.
We recommended getting rid of all distractions to get you over your writing slump. And while turning the TV off and ignoring your apps may help, sometimes what you need is a change of scenery.
Luckily, the rise of co-working spaces gives you many affordable and accessible options.
Co-working spaces can spark motivation and get you back into writing. They also provide a platform for writers, freelancers, and startups who want to experiment with new ways of working.
But if you’re new to the concept of a co-working space, here are a few tips on how to utilize them properly and make the most out of this enticing and flexible workspace option.
Optimal Work Environment
Fast Company highlights how lighting, ambiance, and temperature all play into creating the perfect workplace.
One of the best things about co-working spaces is they’re designed to be bastions of productivity. These spaces check most of the boxes when it comes to creating the ideal work environment.
- Many co-working spaces offer extended hour access – for those of us not necessarily working within the 9-to-5 framework. This offers you the flexibility of choosing your own hours and schedule, without the isolation.
- Increased knowledge-sharing, community, and collaboration due to the open design of the space and the ability to mix industries and professions. This collaborative environment also allows you to leverage other members’ expertise, and vice versa (you help each other grow).
- The co-working space environment includes a mix of those in deep focus at private desks and others striking up engaging conversations at large shared tables. This culture sparks inspiration and challenges you to bring more to your writing and creative work.
Co-working spaces also give you the choice to work in a private area or a common room. Industrious lists the various areas you can choose from in a co-working space, which include conference rooms, private rooms, and common areas.
As a writer, if you don’t mind a little background noise, the common working area may be the best choice for you. However, if you’re the type that’s easily distracted, it’s probably best to opt for the private rooms.
The flexible working environment that these spaces provide is ideal for writers because, in the end, you get to decide what’s best for your writing habits.
Find a Writing Group
Writing is often a solitary experience. So much so, that if you spend most of your days writing, there’s a good chance that you spend these days alone.
And while this may seem like the optimal setup, that may not entirely be the case.
Author and MacArthur Genius Grant awardee, Kelly Link, suggests that your writing greatly benefits from the company of others, as they can provide you with new perspectives that can enhance your work.
With co-working spaces, many like-minded individuals are brought together under one roof and provide you with the best opportunity to find a writing community.
This can be done either organically or in one of the various networking events hosted by your local co-working space. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities as they will certainly benefit your writing career in the long run.
Maximize the Amenities
Lastly, let’s talk about what many consider as the main draw of co-working spaces. Let’s face it, not everyone can afford to own many of the amenities that co-working spaces provide.
This can range from amenities like a green screen, Instagrammable decor, a photography area with plenty of natural light, to simpler things such as coffee constantly brewing or access to a printer.
And as mentioned, many co-working spaces offer private offices, dedicated desks, a bookable boardroom or meeting spaces, and plenty of tablespace for drop-in members who need to use the space irregularly.
To put costs into perspective, the average amount that people pay for a cup of coffee in Calgary is around $4.22. Printer ink, photo or video lighting kits, meeting space rental, and the like can cost you hundreds of dollars.
The amount that you’ll save on these desirable – and useful – features warrants trying out a co-working space in your area (not to mention the convenience of having an office space at the ready, whenever you need it).
Whether it’s the inspiration and potential collaborations, or the unlimited coffee that comes with most co-working space arrangements, be sure to maximize the benefits of being a part of this community.
Think about it: the less time you spend worrying about these factors, the more time you can allocate to your writing.