Is that the saying? Oh, no, it’s more like, “Home away from home,” but, the sentiment can be adapted to fit the sitch. And, we work so much sometimes, an office or work space might seem like home in a way.
Okay, if you’re like us and want to start a side-hustle, the question may be: Where do I do this?
Let’s state the obvious, please do not do it at your day job… that’s a no-no for the obvious reasons. Working from home is an option, but for us, there is an hour commute in between day job and side-hustle. There’s just so much that can happen during that time, like a quick chat, an awkward exchange, whatever.
So, we realized it’s best to stay close… and like skip across the street if possible and stay in work-mode.
How did we come to this conclusion?
We “discovered” a women’s organization called The Wing. It was totally by accident, when home sick on a Saturday and flipping through a Barneys New York catalog. There was this amazing article outlining what the organization is about, part social, part work space.
Right then and there I applied for The Wing, provided my CC info, and pulled the trigger, pressing “Apply.” Shortly after… I learned there was a 3,000 person waiting list.
Thump. <– That’s the sound of my heart dropping. It wasn’t going to happen.
As you may have picked up on, I’m a bit dramatic. I really did have my heart set on joining The Wing, I thought it would not only give me a place to work, but the motivation I needed.
And, you know what, no organization is going to do that… that had to come from within.
So, while The Wing didn’t work out, I realized something. They had answered a question for me, that I didn’t even realize I was struggling with… where to hustle?
I was definitely disappointed about The Wing, because my little heart was set on it, but, as we know, it’s about adapting.
After a tiny bit of research it turns out there are shared workspaces in NYC. AND, the fees range from like $400 to $700 a month. Screeeeeech, pump the breaks. Yeah, that’s not going to work. I am not their clientele…
But, we were onto something. We were getting closer and… ta-dah!
The Ace Hotel is in fact a hotel with rooms for guests and two restaurants. But its lobby is set up for creatives to come in and work. People are more than welcome to set up fort and do their thing. It’s not considered hanging around or being a nuisance.
I guess this is why I said “across the street” from my day job… it’s more like five blocks… but, I mean, a brisk walk.
I swung by The Ace after work one day. I didn’t have my laptop with me or any plans of staying. I just wanted to scope out the scene and make sure it was a good fit. And, it was.
I committed to going every Wednesday for the month of August. The first Wednesday… oof! It felt like a high school cafeteria, walking up to a table, “Excuse me? Is this seat available.”
No, no it wasn’t. It was being held for a friend. Second chair, same thing.
I gave up and sat at the bar. There are two reasons sitting at the bar isn’t ideal: 1) The pub chairs aren’t super conducive to working on a computer and 2) … there’s the ingredients of a dirty martini right staring me down. tehe.
But, it worked out. I sat at the bar and worked away, writing this post about going to see Odd Mom Out‘s Jill Kargman give a book talk. I felt slightly accomplished… enough to put my laptop away and have a dirty martini on the rocks. I mean, it was a a Wednesday… straight up would just be reckless.
The funny thing is, the bartender was shooing people away who wanted to sit and work, it was only for patrons buying food or drink. Except, me?
Clearly it was an accident. But, clearly I didn’t order anything.
So, of course, big mouth here, I thanked the girl behind the bar for letting me stay sans drink. She shrugged it off and we ended up chatting. I asked her how the lobby worked, if there were “regulars.” She did explain there were some people who came in at 7am and stayed until 5pm and she was deffo like, “WHUT can they be working on?” I dunno, a novel?
She asked me what I was working on: I told her about The Wing, and how that didn’t work out. And Cheeky Bird, and my plan to roll it out, but I was looking for a place to work. AND, how I’d be at The Ace for five Wednesdays in a row.
She asked “Why five?” Oh, because there are five weeks in a month. And, after that, I’d move somewhere else… to be determined.
I had the one drink and my new friend was kind of bummed I was leaving. I work on a reward system, like when I was in grad school, I’d study for two hours and then watch TV for a half hour, usually a dose of 30 Rock as a celebration and motivator to keep going.
That dirty martini was a reward… but, two, that’s just boozin’.
SO, week two. I walk up to the bar at The Ace, and my bartender friend, Naomi, is there. She exclaimed, “I was wondering if you were coming!?” I’m here.
I suppose it’s not just a reward system, I had told someone to expect me… so, I had set up an accountability system, too Hey ho, do what you gotta do.
Third week, same. Fourth week, ditto. Fifth week, hoorah! Done.
I could keep going to The Ace, but to be honest, sitting in a wood pub chair was killing my back. And, it was very social. I was chatting more than I was working.
And, again, the answer came to me.. but this time totally unexpected. Actually, it was an email waiting that read, “Welcome from The Writers Room.”
I said out loud, “Whhhhhhut. Is. This!?”
To backtrack, I had sent an application to The Writers Room. One of the questions was how I heard about the nonprofit. And, I was very honest, writing: “I had a TV show on in the background, called The Bold Face, and The Writers Room was mentioned in the storyline.”
I thought to myself, “Is that a real place? It sounds like a real place…” and looked it up. Lo and behold, it IS a real place.
I kind of applied on a whim, not thinking they’d respond. But. They. Did. And, they invited me to go on a tour to make sure I was comfortable with the set-up. And, I was.
We had a little chat after the walk-thru, going over the rules, which include… no talking. Like, for real. I was not joking when I asked, “The no talking is completely understandable. But sometimes I giggle to myself… if I make myself laugh when writing.”
“No, no. Giggling will definitely annoy everyone.” tehehe.
I went home, thought about it over the weekend, practiced not giggling… and signed on the dotted line that Monday.
Oh, should point out, The Writers Room is not across the street from my day job. It’s a short trip on the train, but the drop off is right in front of the door.
Can’t beat that!
And, we’re very happy to feel welcome by The Writers Room.
It’s not just about the blogging… there’s fiction to come.
And, we can’t wait to share it.