English Copywriter in Paris: overcoming moments of solitude II

Last week, I started writing about the loneliness of freelancing and my quest for the ultimate solitude-busting solution.

The coworking space.

brainstorm defining co-working

On paper, these shared office spaces seem ideal. They bring together freelancers to share their skills, rants about difficult clients and lunchtimes.

I did a little research and decided to do a trial day at NUMA, an association dedicated to helping anyone working on the web, especially start-ups. Downstairs is free and very crowded. Upstairs there are desk spaces to borrow by the day or month (for a modest fee, of course). My day started off badly as a client suddenly wanted to see me urgently on the other side of Paris. I settled down to some unsettled work knowing that I’d soon be off again.

Numa coworking space - logo

The atmosphere seemed outwardly friendly, but it was clear that the office space was dominated by start-up members who knew each other well and were working on the same project. I felt a little lost amid the noisy bustle. I just wanted to get back to my own desk in the peace and quiet of my own flat where at least I was very comfortable and could make cups of tea when I wanted.

My next destination?

La Mutinerie in the 19th arrondissement.

Mutinerie coworking space - logo

Already, the area appealed to me – not too far from my flat in the 20th and near the Canal St Martin/Buttes Chaumont. The first day went well, I was met and taken on a tour. I then set down to work. It felt a little strange as I hadn’t been an office environment (even if it is a very informal one) for nearly 2 years. People seemed friendly, but I was apprehensive and felt unusually shy. Everyone was busy working, so it wasn’t the time or the place to just strike up a conversation. That’s what lunchtime was for. At the end of the day, I felt a little bit lonelier. Once again, I was sitting quietly among people who seemed to have known each other for years, but I was also optimistic that I could fit in and make the most of this opportunity.

Since then, I’ve signed up for 5-days-a-month membership. I didn’t want to go full-time, aside from being expensive, I still like working at home, in cafes and have plenty of client meetings spread throughout my week. I wasn’t about to give up the flexibility that attracted me to freelancing in the first place.

Here is what I have learnt about coworking so far:

–          I work very productively to “get my money’s worth” and the atmosphere is studious

–          There are some “core” full-time members who know each other very well, but there are plenty of people like me who are newer and less involved

–          It’s well worth taking part in all the workshops and events organised – it’s a great way to get to know people, network indirectly and make the experience more “sociable”

Have you had positive or negative coworking experiences? Let me know!Last week, I started writing about the loneliness of freelancing and my quest for the ultimate solitude-busting solution.

The coworking space.

brainstorm defining co-working

On paper, these shared office spaces seem ideal. They bring together freelancers to share their skills, rants about difficult clients and lunchtimes.

I did a little research and decided to do a trial day at NUMA, an association dedicated to helping anyone working on the web, especially start-ups. Downstairs is free and very crowded. Upstairs there are desk spaces to borrow by the day or month (for a modest fee, of course). My day started off badly as a client suddenly wanted to see me urgently on the other side of Paris. I settled down to some unsettled work knowing that I’d soon be off again.

Numa coworking space - logo

The atmosphere seemed outwardly friendly, but it was clear that the office space was dominated by start-up members who knew each other well and were working on the same project. I felt a little lost amid the noisy bustle. I just wanted to get back to my own desk in the peace and quiet of my own flat where at least I was very comfortable and could make cups of tea when I wanted.

My next destination?

La Mutinerie in the 19th arrondissement.

Mutinerie coworking space - logo

Already, the area appealed to me – not too far from my flat in the 20th and near the Canal St Martin/Buttes Chaumont. The first day went well, I was met and taken on a tour. I then set down to work. It felt a little strange as I hadn’t been an office environment (even if it is a very informal one) for nearly 2 years. People seemed friendly, but I was apprehensive and felt unusually shy. Everyone was busy working, so it wasn’t the time or the place to just strike up a conversation. That’s what lunchtime was for. At the end of the day, I felt a little bit lonelier. Once again, I was sitting quietly among people who seemed to have known each other for years, but I was also optimistic that I could fit in and make the most of this opportunity.

Since then, I’ve signed up for 5-days-a-month membership. I didn’t want to go full-time, aside from being expensive, I still like working at home, in cafes and have plenty of client meetings spread throughout my week. I wasn’t about to give up the flexibility that attracted me to freelancing in the first place.

Here is what I have learnt about coworking so far:

–          I work very productively to “get my money’s worth” and the atmosphere is studious

–          There are some “core” full-time members who know each other very well, but there are plenty of people like me who are newer and less involved

–          It’s well worth taking part in all the workshops and events organised – it’s a great way to get to know people, network indirectly and make the experience more “sociable”

Have you had positive or negative coworking experiences? Let me know!

Laisser une réponse

Votre adresse de messagerie ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *