By the end of my first year freelance writing, I was madly scouring Seek for job opportunities in Melbourne.
I enjoyed the diversity of topics I was writing about but I couldn’t hack the solitude of working from home. My husband would enter the apartment and I’d velcro myself to him, begging for stories and anecdotes about his day – anything to feel connected to the outside world. I remember asking him what he ate for lunch and what was happening in his co-workers’ lives and what his commute was like.
One time he shrugged me off saying, ‘I’m really tired, can I just wind down a minute?’ and I yelled that we weren’t communicating and that our relationship was crumbling.
I’d lost the ability to relax at home because it always felt like I was at work. So instead of reading books or watching movies on rainy Melbourne weekends, I’d demand that we go out and about. I was exhausted and exhausting to be around.
As the year drew to a close, I knew I had two options: get a job or get out of the house. I nearly took a job that wasn’t ideal but pulled the pin at the last minute, realising it was crazy to give up the freelance writing connections I’d built up just for some human interaction.
So I decided to dig into my pockets and try renting a desk in a co-working space.
It was about $100 a week, which was a lot for me to justify when I never knew where my next pay cheque was coming from, but I was unhappy at home and it was basically the only option I had if I wanted to keep up the interesting work I was doing – let alone keep a happy marriage!
But the strangest thing happened.
Within two months of moving into the Windsor Workshop, I had already earned more than enough extra to cover my rent. Working alongside 10 other freelancers changed my headspace and I became much more productive. We would chat throughout the day but rather than finding it distracting, it was just the refresher I needed for another burst of work.
Work was more fun and I was getting more done and earning more money. The rent literally paid for itself.
Meanwhile home became home again. I now have my own co-workers and people to have Thursday afternoon wines with. I have my own stories to share with my husband and by the time the weekend comes, I’m so happy to chill on the couch.