Though the life of a blogger can often seem like a nonstop flurry of great dinners, glamorous parties, and yes, selfies, there's actually a seedy underbelly of the blogging world that goes unnoticed beneath the shiny veneer of Instagram: work. Yes, blogging is fun. But it's also a job. It's running a small business. And it's definitely a hustle. Most of the time while we're posting beautifully edited photos of us prancing on the beach in Malibu wearing a flowing dress, we're really sitting in bed in our sweats, staring at our laptop for hours at a time. I hate to shatter the illusion, but to set up these perfectly framed photoshoots and boozy brunches galore, a lot of coordination has to happen first. There are social media accounts to optimize, media kits to create, and tons of e-mails to send. Blogging has taught me to become a Magazine Editor, a Photographer, a Model, a Social Media Marketer, a Small Business Owner, and much more.
But there are definitely times when I lose focus or struggle to find my inspiration. The times that I get distracted by everything on Netflix and Instagram and my phone and my dog and what's in my fridge? and my god, it's too hot to work and wait, I have a dinner I have to get to right now and brunch tomorrow and I have to make sure get all the photos I need and post them in time and oh right, don't I have friends and a boyfriend and a family that I should spend time with? With all that's going on, it becomes even more difficult to get the necessary work done to continue to grow and keep making this into a viable business. Not that I'm complaining; I love what I do, but as someone that is still young and green and has had little experience in the corporate world, imposing order and structure on my hectic schedule for the sake of accomplishing my daily tasks has become one of the biggest challenges of this job.
I often reminisce about how focused I used to be in college; sure, I procrastinated a ton, but once I committed to starting that paper, I could block out the rest of the world and stay at it for hours until I finished. I realized that it was the working environment that kept me perpetually concentrated. Sharing a library with dozens of other silent, laboring students was definitely a motivating factor, and unlike my dorm, gave me a space that was just for working without all of the other distractions. Which is why, for months now, I've been searching for a space that has the ability to inspire and recapture my attention. Though the public libraries seem like the obvious choice, I honestly just couldn't find one that was convenient for me and that I really liked. Instead, I've spent months hauling my laptop, chargers, camera, etc to and from coffee shops all over the city. And while I've tried some delicious brews, I tire of working there after just a few hours. I feel bad taking up the outlets to charge my computer, don't feel comfortable to leave all of my stuff when I need to refill my parking meter (meaning I have to pack up all of my stuff, lug it with me to the meter, and then back to the coffee shop), and have honestly struggled to find multiples places with the trifecta of free wifi, comfortable seating, and plenty of outlet space.
This back-and-forth between working from home to a coffee shop has left me feeling untethered and unfocused, but has lead me to where I am today. Which, in case you were wondering, is sitting in a beautiful co-working space with a mug of hot Verve coffee, writing this post with rapt attention. The space in question is Ignited Spaces, located on the bustling, tourist-laden corner of Hollywood Blvd. and La Brea; luckily, the tranquil space is insulated from the craziness of Walk of Fame looky-loos and Star Maps salesmen.
Instead, you arrive on the 11th floor to a modern "office" with a large common area (and beautiful view of the surrounding Hollywood hills), a contemporary kitchen, a few plush couches, cool conference and meeting rooms, and individual offices for small teams of young start-ups. Their front desk is always filled with friendly staff who are more than happy to offer you a glass of mint or pineapple water, as well as walk you through membership options. Not only do they serve (free*) Verve coffee and an assortment of teas in one of their many state-of-the-art coffee makers, but the fridge is always stocked with Almond Milk, Half & Half, and whatever you need to get your morning boost. Their vending machine is not filled with your typical array of Doritos and Oreos, but instead features healthier breakfast bars and snack packs. Decorating the middle of the common area, three long tables complete with comfortable white chairs (yay back support!) and plenty of outlets are usually filled with a smattering of Ignited Spaces members, all diligently working away on their laptops. Three couches are carefully placed in the corner, with moveable desks that allow me to lounge comfortably (but not too comfortably) while still typing away. It's so nice to be able to move around the room and work from different places if I get restless, and I can easily leave my heap of stuff if I want to get a coffee or even leave the building for lunch (or order Postmates, which is lazy but really convenient). I've done a few free days at other spaces, and so far, this one has been my absolute favorite; between the amenities, the modern design, the friendly staff, and the more affordable cost, I have finally found a space that works for me.
Though office spaces and working environments are not usually a topics I blog about with regularity, the overarching goal of this blog is to recommend the best that LA has to offer. I'm telling you all this because I can honestly say that the short time I've spent here has already made all the difference in my productivity. Having a place to go everyday to work gives me a huge boost in motivation, and allows me to impose some much-needed order on often-fragmented schedule. I know so many young creatives and entrepreneurs who struggle with the same small inconveniences that prevent them from being their most productive, amazing selves. To me, having a space that feels like a real office has not only lent legitimacy to this daily venture that is blogging, but it has also convinced me of the importance of investing in oneself. Coworking isn't necessarily cheap, but Ignited Spaces has made this expense well worth it for the longtime success of my blog (not to mention that they've been wonderful about actually talking with me about how to make the cost work). And for any creatives, entrepreneurs, or start-ups, I would highly recommend looking into not just coworking, but Ignited Spaces.