Over the last few months, my (sparse and sporadic) blog posts have covered the topic of freelancer isolation. As a copywriter who’s fortunate enough to have clients around the world, my tendency to isolate myself has frustrating consequences.
At first, I thought the answer would be to get a part-time job. I interviewed for two different paralegal positions, got both of the jobs, and then decided against them. The commute, potential extra-curricular hours, and low pay couldn’t justify the move.
Then a friend who has started to work from home occasionally told me about co-working spaces. As someone who lives in Wales, I assumed that such things didn’t exist here. My naive and slightly unworldly mind assumed that they belong in the slightly more chic areas of Chicago. Or, perhaps the gentrified boroughs of London.
To my surprise, Cardiff is home to a selection of co-working spaces managed by various companies. I finally settled with one called Indycube, primarily because they seemed genuinely inviting and open. The other two discussed waiting lists, tours, and exclusivity to the point that my tired and frustrated freelancer mind sent their emails to my junk box immediately.
Yesterday, I enjoyed my first co-working space experience. It ticked all the right boxes, felt positive overall, and (as I hoped) made me more productive. With all that in mind, I want to explore how I anticipate using a co-working space can make you a better copywriter.
You’ll do more work, I promise
One of my initial reasons for holding back on the co-working front was that I worried about distractions. Although being around other people was sort of the point, I began to fret that I’d spend more time talking and less time working.
As it turns out, just one day at a co-working space made me realise how distracting I allow my home to be. Despite waxing lyrical earlier this year about why freelancers must ignore household chores, I can’t actually do this. I find myself breaking away to wash dishes, throw food at my fish, and pet my cats.
While working outside of the home I produced a day’s worth of content in five hours. I also went over my daily earning target, which has given me more time to read my PPL books today.
Socialised copywriters are happier copywriters
Hands up if you’re a copywriter who’s been victimised by their anti-social lifestyle… Sitting in a corner of your kitchen or on your sofa all day, only to move elsewhere in the house for the rest of the day is in no way conducive to great mental wellbeing. If you’ve recently transitioned from a physical working environment to being self-employed, it won’t take long for you to miss your irritating colleagues. Trust me.
There’s an overwhelming body of evidence supporting the idea that socialising results in happiness. Socialising boosts your mental wellbeing and reduces your risk of mental illness. Further down the line, this results in higher productivity. You’re also more likely to enjoy your work as a freelance copywriter, and I’m confident your passion will reflect in the words you write.
Throughout my day of co-working, I was able to chat with others. Not to the extent that I was distracted from my work. Just the occasional coffee and an opportunity to discover what my fellow self-employed ‘colleagues’ do.
You feel motivated by those who are around you
Co-working as a copywriter who previously spent most of her time at home allowed me to experience a sense of unity. Although statistics reflect the rise of freelancers, it’s still a position where you can occasionally feel stuck. Working around others who take pride in what they do reinforces the fact that you don’t need to be a part of a large workforce to have a sense of purpose.
As some of those who you co-work with run their own businesses rather than freelance, you also feel as though you’re in a rich pool of talent. This can feel quite motivating, too.
Most of all, I suspect an ongoing commitment to co-working as a copywriter will help me appreciate home more. It’s easy to lose sight of the lovely place you live in when it’s always your workplace as well.