Inspiration can come from any quarter. In my case it came from an uncomfortable and a somewhat dangerous place. Blogging is no joke nor does a blog just pop out from your brains on to your keyboard. I blogged like a maniac. Hope you like my tactics that I used for blogging inside a Mumbai local train.
Mumbai locals, the suburban train network needs no introduction.
Dedicated to the daily commuter who is already a success because punctuality is bliss.
It’s not for the faint hearted. You need skills and lots of luck to travel on it each day.
Now this year the trains are helping me to write and blog which I had never done ever.
Pardeep Goyal an eminent Indian blogger in a telephone conversation told me that writing is not hard and if done each day becomes smooth and effortless.
Also check out Pardeep’s site on how to start blogging.
I like to scare myself by taking on goals that I have never attempted before.
So I took up writing, while travelling everyday on Mumbai Locals!!
And inspired by the many stories of students studying inside local trains, successful sports persons who took the train to reach their coaching destinations, IAS and CAT aspirants cracking the exams.
Why Mumbai locals
1. Predictability takes away stress
Mumbai Suburban — one of the best Indian ingenious and autonomously running institution.
Lot of respect for its punctuality — something we Indians are not known for.
Compare this to my commute in Bangalore in my car where I was at the mercy of traffic and some govt depts road digging fetishes.
2. Comfort and speed
Stated fact that trains cut away from traffic, move really fast, and your posture is stable to write (and also play candy crush).
3. Warm people
People in Mumbai are nothing I have met having travelled almost all the country. They are warm, polite and mind their own business. Huge advantage when you are trying to do something like writing.
When you see everyone around either studying, reading or pursuing something, you get busy yourself. You are the average of the 300 people you hang out with!
5. Green warrior
I don’t burn fuel which I did in my previous avatar at Bangalore, taking my car to work each day for 32 kms, for more than a decade.
I feel happy that I am not a contributor to the traffic mess and pollution outside.
Yes it helps when your daily commute works out to under 10 rupees a day! That’s real cold cash saved.
How to start blogging inside Mumbai Locals
1. Buffer of 30 minutes
Writing needs serious focus and energy. Conserve it by keeping 30 mnts for any travel as buffer. I don’t have to run to catch a train.
This preserves my energy levels and maintains my equilibrium.
Keeping a buffer means, you get to pick trains which aren’t crowded and easy to alight and board.
Never underestimate the planning process.
2. Your Tools
Amazon music, Google Drive, Google Calendar, a good mobile internet, a good smartphone, good headphones, fast thumbs and a deadline to finish.
You need a good phone because sometimes all you will have is a single thumb. So the gesture flow feature should work well when typing. I think iPads or tabs would be little inconvenient to carry in Locals.
Yes, not to forget — have a phone with a good battery life
3. Karma works
I love standing in a good place free from the slug fest and the hustling.
Fun fact: a seat to sit is premium commodity and a thing to die for, literally.
So I offer my seat to people who are standing. Someday when I’m tired and need to focus on some serious ideation, I get offered a seat out of nowhere. Karma really works!
Have a rigor and a personal goal each day to write, compile ideas and give shape to your blog.
My total travel time in a day is 3 hours. I believe it’s enough to push 2 blogs out of my weekly goals.
In closing, let’s do something everyday till it becomes a muscle memory. Just like the way I read 84 books in 2016 because I was committed to the goal.
Discipline is a promise to your goal that you would meet it for sure.
If I have to attribute a reason for my success, I would hand out over to my wife for her unconditional love and Indian railways for relentlessly serving this city.