Coworking means I share office space with other freelance professionals or startup companies. I don't have a designated desk, but I "hotdesk" in an open-floor office. On most weekday mornings, I find an empty desk or table at the coworking space and plop down my laptop. Then get to work. The people are nice, especially the community manager. I even went to a Happy Hour/Entrepreneurs event in the coworking space on Wednesday and enjoyed chatting with some of my new coworkers. The price is very reasonable, and I get free wi-fi and coffee, and conference room space when I need it.
Community is important for writers, since the work itself can be isolating and lonely. When I write full-time, I'm careful about trying to set up lunches with people, to text and email family and friends, to generally put myself out there and seek out others. I need it. Being in a coworking space helps. I have to get up in the morning, get dressed -- though I can be a little more casual because I don't have a company or company dress code, then ride the subway into Downtown Boston, and get to work. I try to say hello to people when I'm in their space, and welcome people into mine.
The so-called gig economy, also called the freelance economy, is really growing, and writers are a big part of it. The toughest thing about coworking is also the best thing, not having a boss to tell you what to do and when to do it. I can make my own decisions, which involves discipline, yes, but also tuning into how I'm feeling. If my brain is tired after writing a challenging article, I can go to lunch or go for a walk or (I suppose) go shopping. I find that it's better to plan "fun activities," like a walk on Boston Common, in the morning. When I'm tired from writing, it's tougher to make decisions about structuring my time. On some days, it feels like an improvisation, like jazz. I let the music take over, and just follow. Going home to work is my last resort.
Sometimes, after coworking in the morning, I'll eat lunch at a nearby cafe and then find myself writing my second article of the day at that same cafe. I like the spontaneity of working where I choose in the afternoons. I also seem to be a restless soul who sometimes tires of routine. As someone new to coworking, I'm still searching for my workable routines and chances to break out of them. I'm easing into the new music now.