The Dream of the Perfect Collaborative Creative Space

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about the solitary writers life, and where I find I write best, and what I think I want in a writing environment. I’ve noticed that working at home often doesn’t work for me. There are far too many “distractions” (like the dishes, or video games, or facebook, or pretty much anything), so while I do a bit of writing at home, its not a great place for me to try and work.

I’m starting to see the benefit of having a dedicated space for writing, an office if you will. I have had some success with working in coffee shops (which apparently have an ambient noise that boosts creativity). That said, a coffee shop is also not ideal. You can’t be sure you’ll get a seat. You feel like you have to keep buying coffee (and end up vibrating all the way home, and for the rest of the day).

I’ve found I’m at my most creative, when I surround myself with creative people. We end up encouraging, challenging and feeding each other. Also, when surrounded by creative people, there are amazing collaborations that can happen.

So, I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect collaborative writing space. For a little while, I thought that Flex Studios at  the Artscape Youngspace might be exactly what I was looking for. But that space doesn’t quite seem to be what I’m looking for. The tour I took highlighted the individual work spaces, rather than a collaborative space.

I’m not sure if what I’m looking for exists. So I wonder if its something I have to make.

I’m looking for a creative equivalent of a co-working space. Here’s how I envision it: A place that’s comfortable, with a selection of desk (or table) spaces, and living room type furniture. I should have 24 hour access. It needs to have wi-fi and coffee, and a kitchen space. It should be open concept. And it should be welcoming. Those using it should have the freedom to engage in conversation, but also to signal that they need quiet, so that the different working styles of all users can be accomodated. It would have to be member based: you’d need a yearly or monthly membership. You’d have to have enough members that you can cover your expenses, without taking in too many members so that you run into situations where a member arrives and there’s no spot for them (if everyone was to show up at once).

The idea would be to have a work space where the writer could get feedback from those around her, or could work through a problem by conversing with those around. Or just share ideas and collaborate.

Also, I’d want a place where it would be possible to subsidize an emerging playwright’s membership for year. This would come from any excess funds that are left after membership fees. Also, the place cold hold a monthly event with 100% of the minimal fee going to help subsidize the emerging playwright memberships, as well as to help cover any shortfall. Also, the place could be available to members for evening events that they hold, with a percentage of their entry fees going to the space.

That’s the space I want to work in. The space I’d like to have, if I knew how to make it happen.

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