Sole trading soulsters will know exactly where I’m coming from when I borrow a line from the Reverend Al Green. Basically, folks, I’m so tired of being alone.

Apologies for hackneyed plagiarism of a simply stunning and much-loved song, but it turns out that the quiet contentment of ploughing one’s own furrow was wearing a bit thin. It’s just that I didn’t see the signs. Or maybe I was just in tunnel-visioned denial about my lonely soul state.

Until very recently I was adamant at all times, to all comers, that I was tickety boo working on my ownio. I swore blind that a home-working set-up fitted just fine with the wierdo loner part of my sole trading psyche. It felt just fine to be running my enterprise empire from the little home-based eyrie that has been Word Up HQ for the last few years. I convinced myself that the home/work environment ticked all the boxes, or a good number at least. And actually, for a long time, I think that was true. At the beginning of business, it was simple good sense, both financially and domestically. And hey! I’m good at working in isolation. Ot at least, I was.

But things change and not always seismically, sometimes situational shift is imperceptible. And perhaps for the self-employed that’s because we’re just too bloody busy to recognise the need for change. External influences can force change, of course, but when you’re working on your tod with all the distractions of keeping a small biz empire afloat, it can take an absolute age for the scales to fall from your eyes. Me? I just didn’t realise that I was getting stuck in that lone wolf groove. It kinda crept up on me that I’d become a bit isolated, a bit anti-social, and a bit cut off from the outside world.

Maybe it was the arrival of winter that blew in the winds of change, maybe it was a sudden sense of feeling physically hemmed in, maybe it was sudden recognition of my own inability to decompress at the end of the day (yes, commuting can be a right drag, but it’s got the advantage of providing switch off time which walking down a flight of stairs in your own house just don’t deliver). Maybe it was lack of daily human contact with other grafters. Maybe it was as simple as wanting to be able to offer a visiting friend the comfort a proper bed in the room formerly know as The Office rather than a few nights on the old sagging sofa. Whichever combo of cosmic forces was at play, in December the ch-ch-ch-ch-change switch was well and truly flicked on chez Word Up.

In short, we’re outta there. Out of the house and into the warmly welcoming world of co-working. It’s feels mighty fine so far, to be surrounded by my new space-sharers, a fine crew of creatives who are already offering good chat, great ideas and much-needed company. I just hope they can cope with a nosy auld punk rocker shooting the shizzle at the top of her pipes…