An introduction and a cry for help from Zoya

IMG_0218My business card has a lot of words on it.

Design historian, games writer, art technologist, researcher… it’s a bit of a mess. I got them printed a year ago. Since then, I’ve been more or less succeeding at directing that eclectic jumble of freelance jobs and creative projects into something resembling a career.

I get paid to write about video games — sometimes that’s through contract work, and sometimes it’s through entrepreneurial ventures such as crowdfunded projects and digital content start-ups. I’ve self-published a book about the Dreamcast (a games console released in 1999), I work for various outlets as a correspondent journalist, and I am Deputy Editor at business site Gamesbrief.

All of my writing is an investigation into how economic and technological change is affecting the way we live and work; and how ordinary people like you and me can influence that change.

I really love coworking

coworkingBefore moving to University Village, my partner and I lived in one small room in somebody else’s house. It was manageable, though I really hated living under someone else’s house rules. One thing that helped me to cope was renting a desk in a cheap coworking space five minutes walk away. It got me out of the house, and allowed me to connect with other people while working in a foreign country.

Coworking spaces are a relatively new phenomenon, but already they come in different shapes and sizes; from the lush, expensive, all-inclusive packages of Regus suites to something altogether more approachable. The space I used to rent fit in the latter category, and it was perfect for me. It was affordable, friendly, and had drip coffee on tap. People who didn’t want to make small talk used headphones, and the rest of us chatted about the frustrations of web technologies and shared advice on marketing and social media in between getting work tasks done.

I really miss coworking

When we moved up to Albany, I knew I couldn’t afford to rent a coworking space anymore. That’s not a major problem; for the first time in my life I have an actual living room, and I’m perfectly happy using it as a work space. Still, I quickly felt sad no longer having anybody to talk to. I’m no more focused in the quiet little haven of this lovely new apartment than I was in that friendly coworking space, because I just end up trying to use Twitter to satisfy my social needs.

Sat alone at my desk, I started pondering; surely there are dozens of other people in the village who feel the same way? There must be lots of people working from home, who would like to occasionally share a work space. How do I find them?

The Village Entrepreneur Group is a way of reaching out. It’s a chance for us to find each other and create more supportive conditions together. Those supportive conditions will include a weekly coworking date, but it encompasses so much more. It’s a way for entrepreneurs in the village to share information and help each other to get professional advice on the myriad challenges that face home businesses. Confused about taxes and immigration? So am I! Let’s go and find help on that together, and share resources with others who may also need them.

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