Episode 009 – Co-Working for Authors

This week on the podcast, we’re talking about all of the opportunities for co-working that can make this writing gig less solitary.

Answer our QOTW in the comments section: What kinds of co-working have you tried on your author journey?

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Inforgraphic. Text reads:
Co-Working for Authors

Boosts Creativity: Cross-pollination of ideas sparks innovation.

Increases Motivation: Shared productivity fuels goal achievement.

Builds Networks: Forge invaluable connections within the writing community.

Enhances Skills: Learn diverse writing techniques and approaches.

Shares Resources: Exchange feedback, recommendations, and tools.

Supports Well-being: Alleviate isolation and create a balanced life.

Listen now wherever you stream podcasts.


Hello Navigators. Welcome to Writer Roadmap, the podcast for writers seeking inspiration, guidance, and support on their creative journey. I’m your host, Holly Lyne, and in today’s episode, we’re exploring the concept of co-working as an author.

Let’s start out with the varied forms co-working can take in an author’s life. You might find yourself co-writing a book with another author, bringing together your individual strengths to create something neither of you could have crafted alone. Or perhaps you’re engaging in the back-and-forth process with an editor or book coach, sculpting your raw manuscript into its final polished form. You could be contributing to an anthology or collection of stories around a shared theme intended to promote the extended works of each contributing author. Maybe you’re part of a group of authors, all working side-by-side, each on your own project, but sharing the energy and discipline of the collective. Or perhaps you’re a member of a virtual office or online community, tapping into the shared knowledge and experiences of authors around the globe.

Whether you’re a solitary scribe or a communal composer, whether you’re physically sharing a space or digitally connecting from different corners of the world, the essence of co-working remains the same. It’s about collaboration, connection, and community – concepts that can enrich your writing journey in countless ways. So, stick around – this episode is bound to have something for you.

The Virtual Office

First up, we’re exploring virtual offices for writers. As technology has advanced, so too have our methods of co-working, and virtual offices are an increasingly popular choice for authors worldwide.

The term may conjure images of cubicles floating in cyberspace, but a virtual office for a writer is much simpler – and far more flexible. In essence, it’s a digital space that allows for collaboration and communication, often employing tools like Google Docs, video conferencing, and various project management platforms.

Virtual offices offer unprecedented flexibility. You can work from anywhere, any time, as long as you have an internet connection. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, at home or on the road, your workspace is always available and there are always other writers to work alongside, virtually. Tools such as OhWrite provide the sense of being with other people while keeping your work private and secure.

A virtual office eliminates geographical boundaries. You can collaborate with authors, editors, and beta readers from around the globe. This diversity can open up a wellspring of unique perspectives and experiences that enrich your writing.

Tools like Google Docs allow for real-time collaboration, making brainstorming, editing, and feedback exchanges fluid and efficient. Future updates to Atticus will include this sort of collaborative access as well. Scrivener can integrate with Dropbox to save your progress in a shared drive that your collaborative partners can also access. These tools are really helpful for authors who are co-writing a book.

In many online author communities now, you’ll find organised virtual writing spaces. I’ve been hosting online sprints on Zoom both as a co-host of the Unstoppable Authors podcast and for my coaching clients, for several years. I’ve also utilised Becca Syme’s virtual office that she offers her Patrons. There are many more such groups being facilitated. So take a look around for a community that you feel comfortable in and see what virtual co-working they offer.

If you’re collaborating or working with an editor or virtual assistant, co-writing a book, or co-hosting a podcast, you may want to make use of apps such as Trello to keep projects running smoothly.
There are many ways that writing can be done in a virtual office environment and there is a tool for every need we may have.

In-person Writing Events and Retreats

Let’s get into the physical form of co-working: in-person writing events and retreats. These gatherings can be an invaluable asset to any writer. You can find events near you or create your own.

Going away for a few days with writing friends can be a great way to get a lot of writing done. Being away from the distractions of home and family life can make for a thoroughly productive time, especially in a location that provides inspiration. Sharing the cost with friends can also make this a more affordable option than going away on your own.

However, there is also the possibility that the social aspect of a trip like this may reduce the amount of words you produce! Make sure that everyone on the trip has the same expectations about the balance of writing and socialising.

Brainstorming with Author Friends/Writing Communities

Let’s talk about the awesome power of brainstorming with author friends. It can be an enlightening experience, full of valuable insights and exciting ideas. Whether you do this in person, on Zoom, or in a forum, asking author friends for help when you’re stuck on a plot point or need to acquire a new skill or piece of knowledge can be the quickest way to get unstuck.

This is why we need the vibrant world of writing communities. Whether they’re found online or in-person, writing communities can offer support, motivation, and constructive feedback. It’s important to find the right community for you, one in which you feel welcome and accepted. It has been my experience that the majority of writing communities are welcoming and friendly. But the vibe and tone of each group is unique, so if the first one you try isn’t right for you, don’t give up. There are so many pockets of writers around the world that there is bound to be one that is a good fit for you. If you’re a very new writer, you may feel as though you don’t have much to contribute at first and are coming with a lot of your own questions. But that’s okay. We all start somewhere. Once you get comfortable, I’m sure you’ll find yourself participating in conversations and sharing your experiences. When you find the right group, it can have a profound impact on your work and your life.

Writing Mojo Summer Camp

If you’re interested in a summer packed with co-working opportunities, then I have an exciting offer for you. Throughout July and the first half of August, I’m running the Writing Mojo Summer Camp. We’ll have sprint sessions on Zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays, regular accountability and a private Discord community to cheer each other on. If you’d like that extra push to help you make progress on your current project, you can find out more at writerroadmap.com/writingmojo

That’s all from me today. I hope you’ve found some new strategies to consider and some exciting avenues to explore. As always, I’m here to help guide your writer’s journey. Don’t forget to subscribe and share this podcast with your fellow writers.

I love to hear from you. What kinds of co-working have you tried on your author journey? Let me know in the comments of this episode’s post on Instagram. Just follow me at my new Instagram account @writerroadmap

Until next time, happy planning.

Writer Roadmap intro and outro music used under license from Pixabay. Music track “Salangseuleoun” was Created by “Dayfox”.

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