I spent last Thursday morning at the apartment of Amit Gupta.
For over a year, he has been opening up his home every other Thursday to fellow young, independent workers, mostly tech and design types, with marketing and music thrown into the mix. They call it "Jelly." From his blog:
"Here’s the deal: Luke and Amit both love working from home, but they find that spending the occasional day working with others really helps get the creative juices flowing. Even though everyone’s working on their own projects, they can bounce ideas and problems off of each other and have fun doing it."
The folks I talked to there said the arrangement had led to lots of nifty collaborations, new companies, and friendships, but the most important part was simply feeling the support and motivation of others to keep working independently and doing what they love.
More and more independent workers I know are finding arrangements like these, whether it's meeting a friend for brunch w/ laptops once a week, or a more formal space like coworking brooklyn or the Writer's room. This About.com lists writer's rooms around the country; this coworking wiki has coworking sites nationwide.
How do you find the collaboration jelly for your independent peanut butter? It's better together!