There was a time after college when my friend Vijay and I had a lack of external structure. There was no more school, and work was hard to find. So we would meet at a local library to work on our writing together. We spent our days working in studious silence, jockeying to reserve private study rooms, and then we’d go to a local restaurant for lunch and dinner. We would talk for hours about what we were working on. We got a lot done.
My writing group, the Princeton Writing Group, holds multiple meetings a week where writers get together to do just this. Sure, we chat, but mostly we work.
Every November, for NaNoWriMo, thousands of writers across the globe come out of their nests to meet up and write. They write novels together–not that they collaborate, but they work alongside each other.
There is something magical about this. It’s like productivity builds in the air wherever there are people working. The person next to you is concentrating hard, which inspires you to concentrate, too, and before you know it your fingers are flying.
I encourage everyone to give this a shot. Find a co-working buddy. Go to a cafe, a library, a park, and just sit together while you work on your individual projects. When you get stuck, talk about it. Brainstorm together. Be creative together. And then lapse back into silence while the gears churn and take you in a new direction.