By Garrett Drew Ellis
I suffer from depression and my profession lends itself to loneliness. In some ways, I believe that coworking and collaboration has saved both my health and my career.
As a writer, I am in love with words. I love being able to communicate stories and ideas, placing them into sentences that people can use for whatever purpose they might have. All forms of writing carry an inherent relationship within the giving and taking of words; communication at its core is relationship.
Unfortunately, while I spend my days diving into the life stories of others or researching articles for blog posts, website content and the like, I often sit in front of my laptop with a blank white page in front of me and at times, feel a weight of loneliness, one that comes from trying to communicate with people that are not physically present and not having anyone to bounce ideas off of.
I worked this way for a long time, in loud cafés where people were impersonal or at my desk at home, quiet and tucked away like a hermit. The nature of this work screams introspection and when left to overpower a person, the loneliness of working alone can debilitate creativity and motivation. It did that to me. It wasn’t until I found the Candy Factory that I realized that there is power within community. Results within collaboration. Healthy communication within a space of support.
Working in a space where like minded people are striving to accomplish their professional goals has changed my life. It is so refreshing to see coworkers and friends meet their goals in the morning, participate in a chili cook off or walking lunch at noon and then find more success in a productive afternoon of solution-driven growth and productivity. In a place where events and friendly meetups take place in order for networking and fellowship to flourish, I have learned that we grow both personally and professionally when we work in a collaborative, supportive environment. Together. Instead of dreading my assignments because it would mean hours of silence in a house all by myself, I now look forward to getting out in the morning and heading to the “office”, knowing that encouragement and friendship await me when I get there.
I have to believe that all pursuits, both professional and personal, flourish better when relationship and collaboration play key roles. With writing, communication depends on it. But this is true in design, accounting, the non profit sector and any other specialty you can think of. The old euphemisms were written for a reason: we truly better together and there is security (and success) in numbers.
Collaboration truly is the key. Coworking, or sharing workspace, is a valuable, creative tool available to people who desire community within their professional pursuits. I am so thankful to be a part of this space because if I wasn’t, I am confident that I would continue in a path of lonely discouragement and dead, lifeless words.
My writing has improved tremendously since embracing the coworking model. This isn’t because my skills have greatly increased or because I am extremely talented. I am successful because I recognize now that I need the positive energy of others to survive. In turn, I believe others need mine.
Garrett Drew Ellis is a ghostwriter, author, writing mentor, father, husband and friend. As Editor in Chief of LifeWrite Publications and Media, he helps new and emerging voices navigate the self publishing industry through consultation, marketing, distribution and content creation. A lover of all things words, he is a storyteller at heart and loves to help people tell their life stories. He blogs and publishes at www.lifewritepublications.com