In 2016 I’m going to rent a castle for a month during Nanowrimo. I’m inviting some bestselling authors to join me – and I’ll be doing a giveaway so two or three other people can come and write novels with us (no charge for them, but they’ll have to get to Europe on their own). If that sounds exciting, sign up on the list below so you don’t miss your chance to win.
In the back of my mind, I’ve been thinking that for CreativCastle to be achievable, I need a list of 100,000 people who are interested in the idea. Conversion of 1% of a list is industry standard… so I thought I’d just keep doing what I’ve been doing and growing my lists.
The obvious problem with that is, although I’m growing an email list of authors and writers interested in publishing, but not necessarily the type I will need to fund/support CreativCastle.
Recently I’ve been using some giveaways for list building and last night I finally decided to listen to all those people who have told me I shouldn’t just go out and buy a castle, I should rent first.
Test the idea out. So I’m going to: I’ll rent out a magnificent place for a couple weeks, maybe 2 or 3 times a year, and invite other people to come stay for free. I’ll run giveaways for the chance to win.
I’ll share pictures and videos and testimonials of how amazing the experience was. This could seriously work. 🙂
I have serious castle envy after seeing pics of this one; it’s more like an old church than a castle. Small but comfortable and authentic. And the view is to die for. True, you only get the view if you’re up on the tower, and I could probably just buy a little cottage nearby.
But it’s only 1.5million usd. Looks amazing, I want it.
If you’re not yet familiar with coworking, here’s a simple Wikipedia article to keep you up to speed. Here’s a quote from the article:
Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is also the social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with people who value working in the same place alongside each other.
Coworking sounds like an appealing solution to people who are not as fond of isolation as some are, but affords the individual the chance to work independently, anyway. Coworking spaces exist in order to provide independent, work-at-home people the chance to work and, if eventually inclined, interact with other people. In fact, there are lists, such as this one, talking about how great it would be to consider working in coworking spaces. Just look at lists – there are a lot of benefits in coworking spaces. Here’s a quote from an article called What’s the Top Benefit of Co-Working Spaces by Rameet Chawla:
A great co-working space is a collection of minds inspired by the brand that brought them together. As a member, you benefit from the brand that creates the space, the ethos it aspires to, and the people it attracts. Not only can a great space provide great ideas, but the association could also lend credibility to your otherwise unknown startup.
So how does that fit the general theme of this site? How do coworking spaces and medieval castles fit together neatly?
Well, imagine coworking in these kinds of places:
Castles can be excellent, effective coworking spaces. Coworking, of course, used in a broader sense here. Individuals who engage in coworking spaces can meet people who have the same interests, share the same insights, and the same beliefs. With castles, it can possibly attract a more specific demographic. We’re talking about writers and artists of all persuasions, of course, and castles can provide an excellent venue for them to perform their work. Have you noticed how there are writing retreats held in relatively isolated, relaxed, or picturesque venues? Castles have their own charm, of course, and since artists have the tendency to relish their isolation, castles – cavernous as they are, designed to be huge and overwhelming – can serve a dual purpose: coworking spaces and writing retreat. Artists, especially, can benefit from castles and working in them. One can isolate oneself in one area of the castle, and when one wishes to converse with or work with others, one can move to a designated area in the castle and be with others.
This just speaks about the wonderful versatility of the castle. As well, you can enjoy nice views, and since a lot of castles have historical significance and are located near rustic towns, you can also enjoy the culture.
So keep that in mind. Would you like to have a castle as a coworking space and a writing retreat?
Here’s another possibility, but it’s not high on my list of favorites.
What I like about Butron castle is its size: it’s massive.
I like all the towers. I like that it looks like a ‘real’ castle.
And at 3.5 million EU it’s half the cost of my other favorite.
What I don’t like about it: it was built in the fourth century, but completely restored (both inside and out) in 1878, to mimic other European castles.
And then it was refurbished from 1990-1994.
The result is a bland and boring reproduction, it looks like a stages set for photos.
Not comfortable, not livable, not interesting.
Though you may disagree.
And I do like the high ceilings and natural light.
And perhaps there is more to it:
I can only see photos of a few main rooms. Maybe there’s more. Maybe there are forgotten attics and cellars and secret passageways (doubtful) that hide dusty secrets. I don’t want a modern facsimile tourist castle, I want a real one – with real history.
On the other hand, I need something grand and intimidating, and it’s doubtful I’ll find a structure this freaking huge for such a low price tag.
This castle has had ‘extensive restoration work’ done so I can’t tell how much of it is actually 11th century (that’s 1000 years old!). But I love the way the tower sticks out of the trees like that.
And the outer walls like pretty massive. I can’t tell how big it really is or how many rooms it has – though there are some outbuildings around it. I’ll try to swing by and get more details and pictures.
Here’s something that would be a bit easier.
It’s not exactly a castle, but it does look modern and comfortable.
However… that’s probably not enough. I could get a few friends to live with me and rent this place out. It would be nice. But so what? I can live in a nice place anywhere in the world. This place is nice but also ordinary. It’s big enough or cool enough to attract the energy I need; people have got to be really excited about this idea for it to take off.
I was really excited about this one but now I’m not so sure.
It’s certainly photogenic.
It’s certainly a castle with a lot of history.
It’s “authentic” – parts of it haven’t been updated for 300 years.
And of course the amazing view…
So what’s wrong with it?
Well, it’s just so… medieval.
I found a few rooms with high ceilings which gives me some hope. The others are so claustrophobic.
With some proper Games of Thrones luxury furniture, carpets and decorations, it could be cozy. But I’m afraid the winters would be brutal.
I need a place that will be comfortable year round so we can write and work without our fingers freezing off.
Plus, the nearest airport is at least an hour away and in Italy, so you’d have to arrive, then cross the border.
For all those reasons I think, while at first impressive, this property might soon get tiring, and not be conducive to real creative productivity. But at 3million EU, it’s still within the realm of possibility.
What do you think?
Would you pay to stay here for a month as a life experience? Or would you rather have a comfortable, 5star chateau?
Eastnor Castle is my dream home. I love the outside. I love the inside. I believe you can rent the whole thing, it has 11 beds (plus some cottages). I’m prepared to pay $20,000 a week, or $80,000 a month, which would be close to a million a year in rent. Then I’d need to find couples who will pay $10,000 ($5000/person) per month to stay here. Since the furnishings are so luxurious, it can be more exclusive, special access writing retreat – or coworking space for baller entrepreneurs who are making lots of money on the internet.
How’d you like to write your next book here?
The only thing is, with a place this nice, I don’t think you’d ever feel truly relaxed or at home. Personally I’d rather have a beat up wooden slab for a table than something I have to worry about setting my glass down on, or scratching with my laptop.
It wouldn’t inspire the kind of intimacy and spontaneity I plan to foster.
Creativity needs luxurious surroundings but it also needs space to breath and movement. And I think we should have at least a couple of cats, if not a dog – I don’t think this is the kind of place that lets animals in. But I’m not crossing it off, it really is the perfect castle.
In fact, if I were giving awards – which I should do – Eastnor would win.
You hear that, Eastnor? You’re the best damn castle in the world.
Let me know if if you’ll take my million for a year’s rent. 🙂
Actually, they already charge about $10,000 per night for wedding events, so I’m sure they won’t entertain my paltry $20K a week… but I can dream.
This is the property that got me excited about CreativCastle in the first place. A huge castle in need of a community and some love to restore it. But I couldn’t narrow a price and it seems to be around 11million. However I just saw some news that puts it at 4.5.
True, it’s not ancient – it’s only about 150 years old (although the land has much more history – St. Francis is said to have lived here for awhile).
And unfortunately I haven’t seen inside yet, it could be a mess. But I imagine it’s pretty nice. And the place is enormous, so we could have all sorts of things going on.
$5million is only 1000 people paying $5000.
With a place this big we could probably have 50 to 100 people a month, with plenty of room for volunteers, special pimped out suites for celebrity guests, and more.
I basically want to put a bunch of tables and a library in this gigantic cathedral – it would make an insane coworking space.
However…. it would probably get too hot, or too cold, and too dirty – and would be a royal pain to maintain. I’d probably be required to keep it simple since it’s a historical site. I’m not sure how much they would let me renovate/fix/improve. I’m OK with simple, minimal and comfortable antique furniture, but of course we need a good kitchen, fast internet and lots of electricity.
Oh…. and a boat.
Still, the property needs to be something epic like this to catch on. What do you think? Less practical? More inspirational and awesome?