Commute writing

I have recently moved to a new job in London. This brings with it the mixed blessing of spending 3 hours of every day on public transportation.

The blessing is mixed because on the one hand that’s 3 hours of every day that I spend trapped inside a rattly, hot, metal box, on the other hand it’s ring-fenced time where all I can do is read or write.

Every day I climb on the train and make my way to one of the four tables in the carriage in the hopes that there is a free space. Usually there is, but getting sat at it involves a polite negotiation with someone who thinks that it is more important for their bag to be right there on the seat next to them than for other people to be able to get a seat. Sigh.

I scrunch down at my table, or with my notebook on my knee if I haven’t been lucky with a table seat, and scrawl away for an hour until it is time to change trains. I scrawl away in biro – not my beloved fountain pens – because there are enough unexpected and violent bumps and bounces that I fear for their nibs. There are quite a few biro gouges in my notebook.

In the time that I’ve been commuting I have planned out a novel and two short stories, and have written a couple of flash fictions. But I’ve been so exhausted in the evenings that I haven’t been able to type anything up and work it into a decent draft.

So it’s all swings and roundabouts really.

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