FAQs for LFWc3 (Long-Form Writing Cohort 3)

A quick FAQ about Long-Form Writing Cohort where people get together and help each other become better writers.

Hi! 

These are some frequently asked questions about our Long-Form-Writing-Cohort 3 (“LFWc3”). Should you have a question that is not listed here, please send us a tweet. Our handles are listed below. 

Regards,
https://twitter.com/joshi_hemant_
https://twitter.com/pradx
https://twitter.com/saurabh
#LFWc3

Let’s get started!

What is LFW?

LFW is an attempt to create a cohort of people that love to write long form. And like with all such cohorts, you better write if you are here. And when you write, you MUST write long-form. Pieces that are longer than 2000 words. 

The obsession with long-form is only and only to encourage us to build a writing habit, and give each other a goal that is a little tough and yet achievable (you know, just outside of our comfort zone). This is where people shine the most! And now, it is your time 🙂

What would we write about?

You can write about anything, really. As long as each piece has more than 2000 words. These could be articles, essays, blogs, books etc. 

Of course, you may write poetry, as long as each poem is part of a compilation that goes beyond 2000 words! Dr Shruti wrote a lot of poetry last time around and actually published a book

When do we begin? 

You start by filling out this form. This is your first step to showcasing your commitment to this.

We are gathering interest right now. Plan to start from the first weekend of Jan 2023. We would be together for the next 6 months, meeting each other each week. 

Who is this NOT for?

If you are…

  1. Unable to commit 4 hours a week for the next 6 months 
  2. Unable to commit to the time that we decide for each other. If we decide that we’d talk at 7, we will start at 7. Time is THE most important commodity! 
  3. New to writing. The cohort is best for people that have built a writing habit already and are looking for an accountability group to up their game. Think of this as an advanced-level writing class!

Time Commitment? 

You need to carve out 3-4 hours a week. Out of this, 2 hours for a weekly group call and another 2 for hour-long 1v1 calls with your two buddies. 

We hope to meet each other for the next 6 months, once a week. So essentially we are together for the next 6 months. 

Money?

The first two cohorts were free. We volunteered our time. 

This time around we are thinking of keeping a nominal fee to pay for running this cohort. In the ballpark of Rs. 1000 per person per month. Mind you, this is a ballpark. The actual number could be 500. Or could be 1500. Or even zero for that matter! 

Mind you, we would not take this home. We would use this money to ensure that the cohort runs smooth (paying volunteers, tools etc) 

PS: In case you are unable to pay this fee, we are happy to waive this on a case-to-case basis. 

How many participants? What’s a buddy?

We would have no more than 16 people in this cohort. Anything more than this, managing, accountability and other things become uncontrollable. 

Each member will have two “accountability buddies” and one from the organizing team. The idea is to keep you and your buddies on track! 

The buddies would be allocated on the basis of your shared interests, geographies (we want people to meet), writing motivations (film writers need to be buddies with each other) and general whims of SG ;P

When do we usually do meetings?

  1. The larger, group meeting would be on the weekends, post 7 PM IST. On Zoom. Or any other tool. So, if you have an active social life on the weekends, you may not be able to participate. 
  2. The other is between you and your buddies. You choose the time / tool. But you must be on a weekly cadence.  
  3. We communicate with a Discord group. Discord. Not Whatsapp. 
  4. Since we are a remote-first cohort, we want your camera to be on when we are meeting. If you are camera-shy or live in a bad network area or the camera is broken, request you to NOT be a part of the cohort. 
  5. We would encourage in-person meetings as well. This depends on various factors – people in the same city, time, local travel etc. 

Do we keep a specific objective in mind while participating in LFW?

Preferably yes. 

You could be wanting to write books, film scripts, short stories, and even academic writing! As long as the output is more than 2000 words. 

Because this allows you to stay on course. Otherwise, it becomes a generic room you go to, enjoy the banter and get out. We want people to be a tad serious about writing. Like they said in Fight Club – if you are here, you better fight. We want people to be the man in the arena. We want you to participate. And not just be a critic

What happened in the last LFW cohorts? 

In the first cohort, we failed. More on a different post, on a different day. 

In the second cohort, one of us wrote and published a book, and another wrote a couple of drafts of her book. I found friends that I would probably last a lifetime! 

What language can you write in? 

Any language but prefer English / Hindi so that more people can consume your work. 

Assuming that these are the two most popular ones. Open to more languages as long as there is one more person that can comprehend that language and give you feedback et al 

More questions? 

Send me a tweet. I am at https://twitter.com/saurabh.


That’s about it! 
Thank you for reading. 
Team LFWc3 
PS: LFWc3 is brought to you by Hemant, Pradeep, Saurabh, C4E, PPP and friends. Show these people some love 🙂 

How to start your freelancing career in 2023

A comprehensive guide to how to start your freelancing career in 2023 and live life as a creative freelancer on your own terms.

In 2015, I quit my job as a digital strategy planner with a leading social media and digital marketing agency. I started freelancing and at the time I barely scraped through. Fast forward to 2022, “I” now bill almost 10 lakhs a month (on average – some months less and some months more) and I am more than ok! In this guide to start freelancing, I talk about how I did it and how you can too.

PS: the “I” is a small team that works together to deliver on the work I bring in. And the 10 lakh I talk about is what we bill as a team. We operate as The C4E Collective.

PPS: Again, 10 lakhs is the average. Some months, we do more, and some we do less. In all fairness and honesty, in the best month, we billed about 22 lakhs, and in the worst, we billed 4.

So, here’s a guide to how I broke into freelancing and how you can do too.

Lemme start with some background.

I think believe I am destiny’s child.

I have been extremely lucky and I am grateful that I am where I am. A lot of things (that were mostly out of my control) had to happen to give me this life I have. And I manufactured a handful of things to augment the ones that were out of my control. And I need to work VERY hard on building blind faith in my self (something I lack).

In this longish piece, I want to share what I did and maybe you can pick some lessons from here! 

So, if I am at a 10 lakh a month number, it is because of all the people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve created. The keyword here is created. Unlike popular belief, I do not believe in waiting for things to happen. I seek them. I try and create them. I put myself out there, in rooms where there are odds that I would meet people better than me. Once I am in there, I am ok to make a fool of myself. I am ok to be laughed at. I am ok to raise my hand when no one else is daring to. And I believe in playing long-term games and doing it for the long term.

PS: Long-term is anything more than 5 years. I’d want to push it to 10. But 5 I think it is for the time being.

Before we start, please note that this is NOT a list of freelancing hacks for writing or for anything else. For the simple reason – I don’t know if they exist. Rather, this is a list of things that worked for me and these may or may not work for others. However, there are lessons you can pick from what I believe in and what I did and you can adapt these to your situation. And yes, like all “advice” this is not one-size-fits-all. Please tread with caution. 

Lesson 0. Freelancing is a (VERY) long-term game. 

Let’s start at ground zero.
Freelancing is a long-term game you play with long-term people. 

Today, each opportunity that knocks at my door is a result of a relationship that I “created” years ago and then took the effort to nurture it. I allowed them to compound. 

Here’s some data. My most recent client is someone I know for almost 2 years (thanks to a podcast that I produce). The second most recent client is someone I walked up to randomly at a WeWork (in 2018), and became friends with. So, 5 years. The third most recent client came via someone I know since 2013. And all the other clients came through relationships built prior to that!

Update: Since writing this post for the first time and publishing it, I’ve cracked three more clients. One I’ve known for 5+ years. The other for 7+ years. The third taught me at MDI (16 years ago). So, the point has been reinforced.

So, please get this tattooed on your forehead that as a freelancer, you will have to play a VERY long-term game. The one that will probably last you for the rest of your life. And thus each thing you do, you need to think from that lens. 

Oh, and starting point of this game? 

Relationships. 
With friends.
Acquaintances.
Strangers.
Loose Connections.
And everyone else in between. 

Lemme talk more about this in the next step.

Lesson 1 – Build Relationships irrespective of your intent to start a freelancing career

If I could teach the world how to build relationships, we would have reached Moon Mars by now. And to teach this to an aspiring freelancer would be even more difficult. Allow me to try.

First things first. I define a “relationship” as a thing that makes you want to spend your time with another person. And vice versa.

So, how do you “build” this want? How do you manufacture it?

Well, to get other people to spend time with you, you could start by becoming interesting, likeable, approachable, dependable and all that. The tough part is that each of these words is subjective and there is no tangible definition per se.

However, while the definitions of subjective things vary, there is indeed something tangible that you can offer to others.

Value.

You could add value to others. To them as people. To their businesses. To their lives. Value is tangible. Could be small, big, large or whatever. But most people know it when they see the value.

And on the other side, when you meet others, you need to have patience, listening ability, zero judgements, an open mind, empathy and willingness to offer value (even if they are the ones pitching to you). You need to gift others your attention without expecting anything.

No, it’s not easy; we all struggle with ‘no expectations’ on various levels. 

What has worked for me is that I have offered value (hopefully immense) without asking (or even expecting) anything in return.

Lemme give an example. A friend needed someone to talk to her boyfriend and show him opportunities in the digital marketing space. I thought I could give gyaan. I did that. That person got placed at some agency. And then he gave me a project to work on! Simple and effective!

Thing is, when you offer value without expecting anything in return, the people on the other side start to see you as one of “them”. And not a third party that they’ve engaged for a “project”. And once you are “one of them”, you earn a seat at the table. Where both (access and rewards) are higher.

PS: Of all the strangers that you’d offer value for free and without expecting anything in return, there are bound to be a few that would take you for a ride. You would invest time, energy and everything and you would get nothing. And that’s ok. Really. We pay taxes. There is leakage. You accidentally spill your coffee. This is how life is. Just that each time you are taken for a ride, identify the red flags and next time, avoid similar situations. So start with an expectation that once in a while you’d be left on the losing side.

Lesson 1.2 – Don’t wait for these relationships to happen, create them. 

Thanks to Karan Johar and Walt Disney and others like that, we assume that a “connection” will “click”. You’d be roaming around in a park and in your lap would fall the handkerchief laptop of a gorgeous woman client and as you give that back to her, you would exchange numbers and she would give you a lot of love freelance work.  

Lemme pop your bubble.
No.
It doesn’t work like that. 
Not even for romance.

If you read Neil Strauss or Kevin Mitnick or have seen Anurag Kashyap films, you know you’d have to plant some goons to tease the woman of your dreams and show your heroics to save her. 

Same with freelancing.

You need to plant things that will create opportunities for you to come across as a hero that the client can not live with! 

So, in one line, you need to create these relationships.
You need to walk into rooms you are not invited in and try and locate people you want to learn from, collaborate with, or simply keep around. You need to be intentional and deliberate about it! 

Lemme give an example.
I was working out of a WeWork in 2018 or something. I took the floating desk because it was cheaper. While I sat there, I overheard this man talking about marketing and branding to someone else on the phone. While he spoke, he made a lot of sense. So, I decided to walk up to him. And introduced myself. He was kind enough to reciprocate. And this started my friendship with Aditya Save, who has helped me get work, helped me find people for my team and has taken my input for his work!

So yeah. That.

Create relationships.
Be deliberate about it.
And put in the work required to create relationships.

Oh, here are some actionable ideas…

  1. Join groups where interesting people hang out. I am a member of a few others. Lemme know and I will get you added. Needless to say, I am part of scores of Whatsapp groups, each discussing a wide range of ideas and each on mute ;). Here’s a plug – I run a WA group where I send gyaan on marketing. Join Marketing 101 if you want to.
  2. Go to meetups. LinkedIn is rife with opportunities to do so.
  3. Take memberships (if you can afford it) at places like WeWork, Soho House et al that have a curated selection of members.
  4. Engage with tweets and messages from interesting people on social platforms. Without getting creepy. Start with me or Aditya!

Lesson 2 – Be reliable when freelancing.

In my experience, people dont want to work with “the absolute best” or the “greatest in the world”. 

They want to work with reliable people. They want to pay and get work done. They dont care about a Picasso or a Mario Puzo when they want a piece of art created. They want it to deliver enough to solve a business problem. As a “creative” individual, you can continue to chase perfection. Or show progress. To the world. And while you do so, be dependable. 

I mean think about it. You want to go from point A to B. Would you wait for the “right” car to come in or you’d hop into the next one?

More often than not, people do not care for you being exceptionally good at one thing (I know this sounds counter-intuitive to common wisdom where they want you to the world-class at one thing). People care about paying and getting work done on pre-decided timelines.

So, be reliable. 

Lesson 3 – Start Small.

You cannot start freelancing expecting a gig worth a lakh a month. You build up to it, in terms of both skills and confidence and ability to deliver and ability to demand money.

We’ve engaged a designer that billed us 500 bucks for a FB post a few months ago. And today, he pays his house EMI from what he bills us! 

If back then he said he would only pick up work worth 1 lakh, he wouldn’t have moved towards financial independence. At least not with us. 

Lesson? 
Never hold out for the biggest fish. 
Start small, but keep at it. 

The keyword is, keep at it. And dont say no. And offer value. More than what you thought you could.

Lesson 4 – Spread yourself wide! It is a freelancer’s paradise

Again, counter-intuitive to what common wisdom is. But has worked for me like a charm. Read on.

I cannot stress enough that everything that’s come to me has come to me because I widened my interests and attention. Just by doing this one thing, I’ve met a LOT of people from a LOT of backgrounds that knew a LOT about a LOT of things.

Each interaction allowed me to pick up more things that I can talk about and can eventually work on. Each interaction made me a tad more interesting for the others to talk to. Each interaction gave me a higher chance to be in rooms that I would otherwise not be welcome in. 

The same reflected in the kind of work I was doing. When I started freelancing, I worked as a marketing consultant for a startup. And I did brand strategy for an agency. And I did an event production for another agency.

No, I am / was not “the best” at any of these three.
I was merely dependable. See lesson 2 above.

When the COVID-19 lockdown happened, my biggest source of revenue (events management) came to a standstill. However, my ability to deliver brand strategy and marketing consulting allowed me to survive. And then I expanded from there on.

Today, I do the following – ad-films production, marketing consulting, digital brand planning, ghostwriting, podcasting, content, investing and more! This spread has allowed me to bill 20+ lakhs in a couple of months). And no, I am not great at any of these. I am not even good. I am just dependable.

And oh, I started small and upskilled and ensured that I delivered more than what I promised.

The point is, go out there. And expand yourself thin. Always be on the lookout for experiences of different kinds, and you will meet people from different industries, with different dreams, and very different lives. And rather than trying to fit them into the mould that you’ve created for yourself, be open and accepting.  

Lesson 5 – Overdeliver. Even as a freelancer and while freelancing.

This one’s quite simple: Say you’re asked to write just a blog post. But when it comes to delivering, you send in a series of tweets along with that blog post, to help get traffic to that post. Or, you share those five insights you had while writing that piece. 

Your clients will see it. They will remember you for going above and beyond. And they would see that you are the kinds to deliver more value than what you are paid for. 

Result? 
You are perceived as someone who delivers value. 
Top it up by being dependable. 
And then top it up by being the one that does not expect a lot.
Why would people not work with you? 
Why would you not scale? 
Why would you not reach the 10 lakh a month number?

Quite simple. And effective.

Lesson 6 – Make yourself discoverable as a freelancer. 

Jo dikhta hai, wo bikta hai. 
Location. Location. Location.
The baby that cries the loudest gets fed first. 

There are numerous parables like that. Each makes the same point. 
Be out there.
Be discoverable. 

You’d start attracting opportunities the second you begin putting yourself out there. You invite people to discover you. And then you back it up with overdelivering. And you invest in long-term relationships. And you become a dependable person. 

How is it that you will not build a solid network that gives you work? P.S.: You may want to read this post on networking.

In the words of Daniya and Chandni (am making them discoverable by adding them here), “Think of it like this: It starts with you seeking opportunities and ends with people discovering you. What happens in between is all the things we spoke about – relationships, offering value, and reliability.” 

And how do you do it? 
Newsletters, videos, blogs, Twitter – just about anything that aligns with your voice. Go out. Show up. Showcase what you’ve done. Talk about your work.

The good part? 
All these things compound

Wait.
What do you think this blog post is? 
Why did I spend 15 45 days writing this?
Why do you think I am ranting on Twitter all the time? 
Why do I overshare? 

PS: I have to admit that despite doing all of the above, I remain VERY poor with my visibility and my distribution. Even though I write a lot, I need to work on this and I am constantly in search of amplifying this. And here is a post I wrote on how to build a writing habit.

Lesson 7 – Collaborate with other freelancers and freelancing platforms.

You know how a single twig breaks easily, but the second you pick a bundle, they’re invincible? That. 

That’s how you should view those on a similar path as you.

Together, you learn and attract more. Ditch that greed (of doing things by yourself and keeping the entire pie for yourself) and find people who want to grow with you. Ditch that insecurity that if you share your connections, others will close those deals ahead of you. Ditch that fear that the client will find someone else who’s better.

And in case you need to find a place to start with, start with me. I’d love to. I am a tweet away. 

Once you have one or two connections, go seek more. Join networks. Go to meetups. Tweet at random people. Ask for help. “Hire” people to work with. The “I” I talked about at the beginning of this post are actually my collaborators. It is humanly impossible to make 10 lakhs a month as a freelancer if you are on your own. You need collaborators. You need to pick work and allocate time and divide responsibilities and remuneration. The 10 lakhs we make is divided between the 6-7 of us and as a collective, we are better off than we would be if we did not collaborate.

This collab also allows us to present ourselves as a “large” company and pick larger projects (in value / impact / showcase) that an individual would never ever get considered for.

From here on, as a collective, we may go become a large company. Or will remain a bunch of freelancers working together. No one knows (I dont know what the future holds and I will not lose sleep over it). But what I know today (as of writing – 11 Dec 2022) is, that I am having a ball (with obvious ups and downs) and I am extremely grateful for that.

I am digressing.
The point is, partner with more people.
Do larger capers 🙂
Start with me, if you want more partners. I am a tweet away. 

Lesson 8 – Be the “easiest” freelancer to work with. 

I can bet that you have that friend that is incredibly difficult to please. You could go to the best restaurant to eat at, on a day that’s going really well and this person will spot a problem. 

At work, you would have that colleague that would ask a thousand questions even before lifting a finger and you would know that most of those questions are a way to deflect work assigned to him. You know, passing the buck. Or the pillow. Or as I call it, playing football and pushing the ball to the next person. 

There are people that you want to avoid even though they deliver great work. No?

So, thought experiment.
Switch places.

If you are that person that is incredibly difficult to work with, do you think people will come to you for work? Will they recommend you? Will they ask you to do things? 

If your answer is, “oh, I am the best. If not work with me, where would they go?”, then you’ve lost the plot and wasted all the time reading all these tips to start your freelancing career in 2023.

Thing is, clients are people. And they seek other people that are easy to work with. They like the idea of being easy to work with. They love their peace of mind.

It’s really simple.
When you’re stuck in circles, who do you turn to?
When you need something solved proto, where do you go?
When you want someone to get you out of the soup without asking too many questions, who do you think of?

Be that person. For others. For clients.
People Clients are looking for just that.

So, while you’re being reliable, also be easy to talk to and easy to work with. And see work coming your way.

Lesson 9 – Be a freelancer that people can trust. 

As I grow, I often find myself working closely with companies that often compete. As I write this, I work for 4 different advertising agencies. And each competes with the other on a day-to-day basis. And while the scope of work I take on for them might vary, I am essentially working for companies in the same business.

Thus, discretion becomes important. And it becomes tough for me to earn their trust. And while I have not been able to find a solution to this, I start with full disclosure. And transparency.

If I am working for competing companies, I disclose that to all them. And I’ve seen that if you volunteer information without others asking for that, people tend to trust you a tad more.

Again, trust is something that you need to earn. With time. The longer you work with / work on something / someone, the deeper the trust. While a post on trust would be another 5000 words, if I were to highlight a few points that help build trust, these would be…

A/ Everything that I have listed in the 8 lessons above. I will repeat some in this list.

B/ Radical honesty. There is nothing better than this.

C/ Keeping word. On your promises. On your delivery. Your Zubaan must have a keemat. Thank you, Rajesh Sir for teaching me this lesson.

D/ Be consistent. I suck at this, to be honest. But I am working on this.

PS: B, C and D are about being the most reliable person ever. Also, scroll up to see lesson 2.

That’s it. I am sure there are more things you can do to build trust but these 4 will cover most of those. And in fact, all the lessons I’ve listed would cover them all.

In the end…

Guess this is about it.

These are the 9 things that have allowed me to build a freelancing career. Trust me when I say this that if I have been able to build one for myself, I am sure you can too.

Also, do lemme know if this was useful. And do tell me what else would you want to read about if you are starting out as a freelancer in 2023. Finally, if you have any specific questions, I am happy to talk. The best way to reach me is on Twitter. I am a tweet away. 

A Few Disclaimers

  1. This post is essentially a list of things that have worked for me. These may or may not work for you. This is a summary of my experience only the results may vary 😉
  2. For context, I hold an MBA from MDI and have about 16 years of experience post that.
  3. Thanks to Chandni and Daniya for helping me write this.
  4. Thank you Samriddh, Hemant, Sanhita for reading early drafts and helping me improve this with specific inputs. These names are not in any order.
  5. There are more things that I can write about. In fact, I am thinking I will do a live session to help people break into freelancing. Would you want to learn from me? DM me on twitter and lemme know.
  6. If not on a live session, I think in the subsequent posts, I can write about the following: how to crack the first client, how to build the network, how to price your work etc etc. But I think that’s a different topic for a different day. Do let me know what would you want to read.

Untitled 12 Feb 2022

Random rant from a day when I am kind of mind-effed. If there is a word like that.

Trigger Warning. Please read ahead if and only if you can tolerate rant about life and death.

So I haven’t published anything on my blog in a while. I have had the reasons to and things to, but I did not. I dont know why. I am feeling chatty rn and I think I will try and do a brain dump, ideas vomit and all that.

These are no order. I am typing randomly.

ONE

So today I met this friend who recently lost a parent. I am socially inept and I dont know what to do what to talk what to say and what to not say in these situations. People moving on is messy. People going for good is another matter. I mean when someone moves out of your life (and it’s not new to me – I’ve had enough people walk out on, keep me on the edge, use me and all that), you know that you did all you could to keep them around (or should I say, hang around them as they did their thing) and there is that lingering hope that they’d come back. You know, hope being the best of thing and all that?

But when someone goes for good, I dont even know how people reconcile. I have been lucky that I haven’t had to face anyone leaving me for good. And that means that even though I am 40, I dont understand how to say goodbyes. My understanding of life has remained superficial at best. I have lived it at the surface level and I haven’t gone into any depths whatsoever. Wait. Why do you need these depths? Anyway, life is meaningless. No? Maybe, in the grand scheme of things. But to people that lose their loved ones, the ones that dont get closure, the ones that dont find a solution or an answer, maybe there is some purpose after all!

Thing is, I often tell people that are facing such life-altering events that I understand what they go thru, I even get by most times as I can fake well. But then once I’ve done that, I get mindfucked to a point that I dont know what to do!

The reasons for this mindfuckery are simple. Lemme try and write about those here.

A, I am amazed at the strength shown by these people. I dont think I would have it in me to face the world once I lose something, someone close.

B, When I fake, I tend to lose my energy. I never believed in this but as I grow older, I am seeing that things take away my energy (faking things, pushy people, unclean places, etc) and after a bout of exposure to these draining activities, I feel a massive drop in my mood. You know, mood swings? That! And how! So that!

C, I am a little scared that someday I will have to face things. You know, see a loved one go. Say goodbye for the last time. Probably not even say goodbye. Plus the biggest fear. What if I am the one that has to depart? No, I am not scared of death per se. Just that I am scared that I would not achieve what I always thought I was capable of. What I made people around me believe that I was capable of. If I die without fulfilling my destiny, it would be very very unfortunate. So that.

Ok that was about the mood-swing, mind-fuckery-inducing thing that happened. Onto the next thing that I have been thinking about.

TWO

In the last few days, I have had a million signs that I need to get my ass moving and work on #book2! I will talk about those here and the triggers I’ve been having in my head!

a. I am working on this short film that I am convinced that it works. And when I talk about it to people close to me, they come back to me with a retort that I need to consume content before I decide to make it. I mean, why? And because I dont look at things from the experience of other people, how does that mean I cant create my version of things?

I think the answer is, if I had created something that I could show off, that probably would’ve ensured that these questions about my knowledge are not asked! The world we live in gives more importance and

b. I was talking to another friend about another movie. While I said all the reviews are bad, she said, it’s easy to diss and impossible to create. And I was again left speechless. I spoke from the knowledge that the reviews gave me. Not from the lens of a creator! Again, I was reminded that it’s painful to be not a creator, in a world that celebrates creators even if what they create is crap. And yes, I am part of that word.

And I agree with Anton about critics! See this.

Anton Ego on Critics.

c. The visit today made me realise the shortness of life and my repeated attempts and failures. I thus need to move my backside. Pronto.

d. I am now surrounded by a few people that are writing like mad! On a day to day basis. And I owe it to them to write. I thus need to find a way to not disappoint them. So I must write. If not for myself, then for others.

e. Then, this uncalled for, unprompted tweet by another author made me realise that having some piece of work out there enables you to make new connections that you did not even know existed.

So yeah!

These two large things. I had to sort of vomit the thoughts out before I slept. And here it is. Lemme know what you think.

Over and out.

290821 – Morning Pages

I talk about shifting, reliability, sleeping on the floor, hidden talents and games people play!

8:07. Starbucks at Khar. Here cos I have to meet someone at 9. And this is the only thing that is open where I could’ve sat and completed my morning pages in peace. I have about 45 mins to go. The place where I am supposed to meet is like a 5 minutes hop away. So that.

Yesterday was eventful. I finally moved whatever I owned to a different place. Some to SJ2’s place. And some to Paras’. When I was moving, I used the crew from the events business to help me with things. And they did a decent job. Better than what a professional packing team could’ve done, do be honest. I think I should start that, a relocation service! Lol!

So, two things from there.

A. The boys that moved the things. Most of them were around 20. I suspect one or two of those was not even 18. Yes, I did ask. While they worked as causal workers, each of those had dreams that went beyond even mine. They wanted to be film stars, politicians and all that. After the shifting was done, I got them for lunch. While chatting around, they showed me some of the work they’ve done with their not-so-fancy phones, and I was blown away by the output! These kids have literally no training in filmmaking or scripting or anything of that sort. And yet they were able to create something that I can even dream of. They had tools that I have not even heard of and they used those like I would flip weapons on Counter-Strike. Or as fast as I type. You know, from muscle memory. And cognition. It was insane to see those boys in action. I wish I had an iota of talent.

I have made a promise to self that I would work with these kids and get them to make a short film (at least) or a docu that I would produce. Of course, once I am back in Bom. Let’s see when that is. #parkedIdeas

B. Now that I have moved things, I dont have anything in the house, apart from some clothes that I need for the next few days. And some stuff that I want to carry to Delhi. I had to carry a lot more but since I am going via a train and taking stops at Ahmedabad, I may not be able to. Not important. The point is, the house is empty. With just the things that it came to me with. And I had to sleep on the floor. And it was painful. I thought people said that sleeping on the floor was good for the back. I am sore as a log. I felt as if someone has beaten me blue with hockey sticks and all. I am not rested. And I have to sleep like that till the night of the 2nd. 4 more nights. Damn. If I die because of exhaustion, it would be unfortunate.

So that.

In other news, I was supposed to record a marketing podcast with a guest. The gentleman did not show up. And I was informed about it when I checked his team, 2 minutes after the time we were supposed to record. I dont know how people can be so careless with other people’s times. If you dont commit, I understand. But once you’ve said that you’d be there, you better be. Or inform beforehand! Ok, this sounds like I am angry or something. I am not. I am merely logging it here. And then taking a lesson for myself.

Finally, I have to write this lesson I learned yesterday. I am yet to process it fully but it was important enough for me to capture it here. I may even write an SoG about it. I was seeing this conversation between Dr. Peterson and Lewis Howes. Around the 15th minute mark, they talk about games we play as individuals. And they talk about how you can and must become a person that everyone wants to play with! Play is defined as social interactions. And games as things we do as people – interact, work, entertain, play etc etc. They go on to talk about how if you can’t be the one that everyone wants to play with, you can definitely become NOT the last person that gets chosen when other people have to pick when they choose to play. And then they talk about things that you need to have to become that. In one line, the answer is, you must work to ensure that others that you play with, go back better before they interacted with you. And nothing else.

This is a little counterintuitive. I mean when you play a game, you want to win. Come out on top. Come out a winner. And that is often at the cost of others. So you are essentially getting ahead at the cost of others. The others dont get to become better. If you however put other people’s interests ahead of you, they see that they are getting better as a result of interactions with you. They would talk about it. Make more players aware of the favorable outcome. And the odds of you getting picked would, well, pick up!

Funnily, I have been doing this for a while now. And as a result, I believe most people want to include me in their teams (not as the first few choices). Most people want me to have their back. And that is valuable. I need to work hard to become the first person they think of when they want to play games.

The only thing I need to be aware of is that most people that I choose to play with, they often leave me poorer. And thus I know I dont want to engage with them in more games. And I need to better the way I select and pick people.

So that.

Guess this is about it. 1000 words already. And we are at 8:44. Less than 30 mins. See that’s the thing. I can spill out words very very fast if I know what I want to talk about. Just that I need to have a rich enough repertoire and mental faculties and world view that I have enough and more to write about. And write often.

Chalo, moving on with the day. Over and out. Here’s the streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 171
  • #noCoffee – 14
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 9122
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 261

130821 – Morning Pages

A dump of things that I spent a lot of time mulling over yesterday. I think this is what Living in Public really is!

8:28. Starbucks. Friday the 13th. I just hope this day goes ok! You know, superstition and all that.

So here are the things at the top of my head. In no order…

A. Walked 10K after ages.
Even ran a bit. Not ran. Hobbled. For about 300 meters. And then panted like a cow in Delhi’s garmi. Did half-pushups. Just need to get consistent with it. Lol. This consistency is my Achilles Heel. I am great at doing great things in spurts. But I suck when it comes to doing things for long, I suck. #sgQuirks. So, need to fix this.

After the walk, I was missing Diet Coke so much that I decided that I will break the 150-day streak and have one. And I even made my mind to get a frozen one, pour in a glass and savor the taste.

And then I did not. Yay! #win

Here’s a promise. If I reach the Base Camp in one piece, I would get a Diet Coke for myself. So let’s see.

B. Away from Bom.
It is starting to hit home that I will be away from Mumbai for some 2-3 months. I was away last year as well when I lived in Goa but I still had a house and my things were here. This time, I am moving lock, stock, and barrel. In the sense, I am putting my things in a godown and letting go of the house I have here. So, come to think of it, it’s like letting go of the city that I have come to love. For the freedom, access, opportunities, friends, love-interests, hopes, miracles, tears, sea, misal-pao, and more that Mumbai gave me.

No, I am not going away for good. I have to make it in the films business. And startups. And teaching. Lol. A million things yet again. Mumbai is where I would be.

Or maybe not. I mean if I get away from Mumbai, I would either be in Goa. Or out of India. Goa is more of a state of mind where things are slow and all that. But come to think of it, the only one thing that is keeping me back here is M. She may move on as well in the next few months. Post that, who cares where I am.

Wait. Isn’t life like that? You plan plan plan plan and more plan. For the future. And then it creeps up on you so slow that one fine day, you realize you are 38 and you are still planning for the future. What future? At 38, people retire!

C. Applied to a few jobs (I dont know why) last night on Linkedin.
In exactly the same heart-less, mind-less manner that I approach my attempts to find a relationship on dating apps.

I mean I like the idea of a gig that gives me a lot of money. I like the idea of being in a relationship that gives me joy. Not that I am dying hungry. Not that I am joyless.

Thing is, I know I want to do better than where I am. I know I need to get more stable. I know I need a companion. I know I need more than what I have. And yet, all I do is heartless, half-baked attempts at fixing things.

I dont know a way out. But that.

D. Writing.
I did not write on book2. Neither on SoG Book. Damn.

If I have decided that writing is going to be my thing, I must push myself. I must wake up each day with the intent of pushing my craft! For without that, I dont know why I exist.

E. Self-respect.
Yesterday, I got into this weird conversation with someone I care for. Even though I know that my attempts at patching things will not lead to fruition, I still tried. And as a result, I was left with heartburn.

Not cool at all. I must work to get my self-respect quotient high. I shouldn’t do these stupid things. And these have been happening with increasing frequency. Need to fix it.

Will work on this over the next few days. Need to become more stoic.


So that.
Living in Public!
A list of things on the top of my head.
A lot to fix. May be over the next few days.

Here’s streaks as I start the day.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0. Did not write yesterday as well. Missed for 2 days in a row.
  • #noCoke – 155
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had two. Venti. Tall. Americano.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 30 + 30 + 130 = 190
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 1. Finally got 10K steps in. After 2 weeks.
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 245

080821 – Morning Pages

I talk about being Indian, Neeraj Chopra’s Gold Medal, Speaking Well, Dr. Peterson and more. And some shower-thoughts and wants!

6:34. Long day ahead. Lots of work. That’s what happens when I take a break for a day or so. But then I cant complain about how I spent yesterday. It was a good day, to be honest. I met M and it is fascinating to see her grow and discover and fight for and find her place in the world. I wish I had more understanding when it comes to kids and all that. And I wish I would assert more on how kids that matter to me are brought up. Wishful thinking.

Anyhow. I just wish I had the money and time and lack of ambition to live a day yesterday often. I mean a day spent with leisure and all that. More on #echochamber.

Moving on.

I woke up a few minutes ago. Two things that I am thinking about are, 1, Neeraj Chopra’s Gold medal at Olympics 2020. And 2, this video by Dr. Peterson as soon as I woke up. In this, he talks about how misery could be a source of your inspiration. Lemme talk about these two.

I saw the Tiranga getting raised to the top and then the national anthem being played at Tokyo. It was a heartening sight. Made me think about how things and time change. And how I have changed with time. There was a time when I was as staunch and as hardened Indian as they come. I believed in our supremacy. I was blinded to the mistakes we made as a country and as a society. I would dismiss the apparent flaws in our culture. I would love the “chalta hai” way to respond to things. I would take wows to make us proud and reclaim the lost glory we’d grown up reading about. You know, before the time invaders starting plundering our “great” nation.

But then, over the last few years, something changed me. May be I became more aware. May be I got more “educated”. Maybe society became more extremist, more hardened. May be, I saw how other cultures and societies are “better”.

Somewhere, I lost the fanaticism I had for India. Of course, I remain proud and grateful that I am an Indian. I know I can’t change that about myself. But I do now think and wish and hope and pray that I could live in a different country and a different place. There are multiple reasons for this. For starters, the very meaning of freedom / independence and being an Indian is lost. We are now a country of people blinded by religious dogma and blind extremism around religion. We are now a country where we celebrate the failure of others rather than the success of self. We want to become Atam Nirbhar in conduct and yet turn a blind eye to this conduct when faced with adversity. The right to speech is being taken away. The ability to do things is being made more and more difficult by the day. We are now deeply engaged in plastering everything we have with a photo of a man in a white beard and not concerned that the history books are re-written and laws of the land are being crafted that would put even the cavemen to recede deeper into the folds of the mountains. Even the athletes that are winning the medals are being ignored and the entire nation is captivated by the one phone call congratulating these athletes and their coaches.

Anyhow. I can rant for hours if I have to but I am not as well educated or informed. I am sure there are people that will justify the actions of people. After all, we know how to defend ourselves.

Lemme move on. Saw this video.

In this one, he says, resentment could be a great teacher. I think everything I feel that life’s being unfair and I am getting a raw hand in relationships or work and things, I would do 10 push-ups. Simple. I would make my resentment a road to fitness if nothing else. And then from there on, I will do whatever it takes to sort things.

So that.

I want to talk more about this resentment as fuel for life but not today. Need to start work. I do have to talk about something worth noting though. The ability to speak well. Dr. Peterson speaks so so well. It’s not funny how many times I let my rational / thinking mind ignore what he’s saying just because he speaks so well!

Staying this ability to speak well, yesterday I got talking about some of the best orators of Hindi as a language. Ashutosh Rana (this and this) comes to mind. Then VG told me about Kumar Vishwas (this). Rahat Indori Saab (I dont even know how many to link here) has been among the best orators ever. Even this from one of those nationalistic films is a great case of someone inducing goosebumps only via the power of words.

I really wish I could speak as well as these people.

I think I can decode these. There are two things at play here.

A, the content. I mean, these are great words, great poetry that is being narrated. The words themselves are goosebumps-inducing. The stories are inspirations.

And B, as important, the way they’ve been narrated. The passion, the pauses, the clarity of tone, the breathing, the speed, and all that. Ufff!

I need to get better at it. Point me to some source. PLEASE!

So yeah. That.

Lemme end today’s post with something that I have been thinking about, over the last few days. I even wrote about it on the 4th. The book I have been editing is done. And the time slot from 8 AM to 9:30 AM is now available. Should I just assume that it’s a sign (great proses, Dr. Peterson, my misery, my want for validation, my poverty et al) and create something for myself? I mean I am definitely not a one-hit-wonder and it’s high time I get going and work on something for myself. A book, a film, a large-ish project (like a Jigsaw Puzzle, a magnum opus or something). #note2self. Lemme try and start from tomorrow, even if I am supposed to take a break for a few days in Sep.

Let’s see. What. When. If.

That’s it for the day. Here’s the streaks.

  • OMAD – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 150
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had two. Tall. Americanos.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 250 + 250 + 1500 + 257 (2257)
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 240

PS: I speculated that yesterday that ink in my system has run dry. But then I got back to writing these today, I realized I can rant a lot. Yay!

PPS: #showerThoughts. Had this really cool thought while showering today. Lemme give context. While brushing my teeth, I realized that I have these huge bags underneath my eyes. And this is probably because of the last two-three days of lack of sleep. Which is probably induced by too much coffee. So, what if I go to my local Starbucks and talk to the store manager and ask him that I am gonna sit there for 4 hours each day and NOT buy a coffee. Of course, I dont want to be a freeloader and thus I am happy to buy their merch / food. Or even donate. But I dont want to consume. Would they then allow me to sit at Starbucks and work? Let’s see. Will try on Monday.

040821 – Morning Pages

There’s nothing specific that I’ve on my head today. So a list of random notes / things / ideas etc.

5:50. I had a sleepless night. I mean I was in bed by 1030 I think but I kept waking up. I dont know why but I did not sleep ok. It has to be coffee. I had a strong one yesterday. Even though I ate like a hog after that and had a lot of water, the residue was still in my system, I am guessing. Anyhow. I am up. Yawning like a baby. Lots to be done today. Let’s see how it goes.

Yesterday was ok.
I did some work.
I talked to some people.
Troubleshooted a few things.
Moved along.
However, I did not do my 10K steps. I ate kachra. And I have anyway stopped working out. I am not even making pretenses that I will try and do anything. The only thing I am doing is regular walking. And trying to get enough sleep. Yesterday I didn’t do these two either.

So if I am serious about EBC and Everest eventually, I need to get my act together. And come to think of it, I had made a promise to myself that fitness will become my number 1 priority. Even if work suffers. I think what’s happening is that I am allowing work to suffer, and yet I am not doing anything for fitness. Must mend my ways.

Oh, I need to buy a new chappal. The one I bought from Bata is very very uncomfortable. In the sense that it’s heavy. It’s a good thing, to be honest – it is probably helping me prepare for trekking shoes that I will have to wear for 15 days. But on a day-to-day basis, walking around in bad chappals is probably gonna hurt me more. So need to buy some flip-flops.

Moving from the feet to the head. I have this void in my head. About not working on a book. I mean the book (biography) I am helping edit / write / research is sort of done. It’s with the publishers now and unless they come back with a lot of changes, my job there is done. I miss not working on it. I miss not thinking about it. I miss the narrative structures that I would draw. You know, putting a thought in a manner that it’s comprehensive and easy to consume. That. Maybe this is the right time to pick up the second book? Lemme try once I reach Starbucks.

Ok. What else is at the top of my head? I have spilled enough ink about how I am moving out of this house end of August. Oh yeah. The next short film that I am co-producing with Shikha and RCF is going on the floor soon. As early as the end of August. Yay!

Also, on the film, I am gonna make sure that I am the film photographer. I’ve been wanting to experiment with it and this is the opportunity that I have sort of created for myself. If I can make a mark, it will be a classic case of creating luck. In fact, I think I like this idea of playing with things and scratching my itch even if I have to put in my own money. I mean why else do I make money? To try new things. To spend on things that I like. To do things that others won’t allow me to. So that’s cool. And I must mention that all I am doing here is helping Shikha who’s the real reason why this film is happening. She (and a few others) are my Venue and Serena! Lol! Self-gloating max.

Ok. What else?

Guess rest is the regular humdrum of life. More tomorrow. Here’s streaks.

  • OMAD – 2
  • #book2 – 0
  • #noCoke – 146
  • #noCoffee – 0. Had one. Venti.
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • Money spent – 30 + 3000 + 363 + 399 + 25 + 55 (3872)
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • Minimaslism Counter – -2
  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 236

270621 – Morning Pages

After the longish post yesterday, I am sort of black. Don’t have a lot to talk about. So, a non-meaningful update.

6:15 AM. Up a while ago. Tried sleeping at 10 but by the time I finally hit the sack, it was 12. Lemme start by recapping the mile-long rant I wrote yesterday and how I am faring at various things I talked about.

  • Filled water container and bottles. To a point that I don’t think I will have to order in for the next few days. Good!
  • Since I couldn’t work from my place, went to a friend’s. Promptly fell asleep. Lol!
  • Saw no Netflix. But ended up seeing almost all the videos on this channel. You must check them out! Bad.
  • No coffee but had a RedBull. Bad.
  • Ate one meal of just Dal. But then ate chips and assorted kachra throughout the day. VERY bad.
  • I think I need to find a non-carb thing that I can munch on all the time. I use chewing gum often but it’s either too sweet or a ball of rubber in the. I prefer something savory. Or something like Diet Coke 😀
  • Did 3 minutes of meditation and 5 push-ups (in 2 reps. For someone like me, 5 is like infinity. Super stoked. I need to be able to do 500 in a day. You know, if I want to build strength in my arms! Good!
  • Walked some 3K steps. The plan is to get out more and reach some 15K a day.
  • Slacking on work yet again. I still haven’t figured this as an answer.

So, more bads than goods. But then some goods nonetheless. So that’s a good thing. Need to have more goods and less bads. And then monitor these closely so that I only have goods and no bads. Ok, enough of this good and bad wordplay. Has stopped making sense.

Lemme think what I want to talk about today.

Wait.
As I write this, I am back to listening to Singh is King title track. On loop.

In highlights, along with AD, I started with the Podium Writing Fellowship. The idea is simple. We want to add a leg at Podium by adding text content. Now, the niches we operate in (entrepreneurship, marketing and more) has enough and more competitors to even get started but we believe that the content we have is so good that we can rehash is. The first rehash we’d do is text-based content. You know, newsletters etc.

The trouble with it is to find people to write it. For starters, writers are a rare commodity. It’s tough to find great writers. Second, even if we find some great writers, the way we run The Podium, we don’t have enough cash flow to find writers sustainably.

So AD came with an idea to identify young writers and help them get better. Of course, the responsibility to do so is on my shoulders. I have never delivered a longish course to help others learn but I think I am excited. More than anything else, this would help me improve my writing! In the world where AI would eat creative work (you know, GPT-3), this is an attempt to remain sane by actually doing work that creates meaning.

Ok, I am digressing.

The point is, at The Podium, we are taking so many shots and doing so many experiments that I am hoping one of those will stick and make this struggle worth it, at some point. I just hope we can make enough money for everyone that works with us at The Podium. And of course at all other places where I put my time and energy.

So that.

I am back to listening to discourse by Dandapani. Today’s its this video.

He talks about finite among of energy and attention, life purpose, people that uplift you, importance of attention (over money), death (and the finiteness of life), energy vampires, staying affectionately detached to people (super important for me!), passing on the burden of responsibility, happiness (and pursuit of lifestyle that create happiness).

I love how he talks.
I love his content.
I think I am a fan!

Lemme try and take a stab at this. What is my life’s purpose? At a materialistic level, I still want to make a billion dollars, climb Mt. Everest and while I do both, inspire a billion people! In terms of a little more metaphorical level, I want to enable others I know to do well. Do well is an open-ended thingy. I define it by saying that whatever is your end-state that you want to achieve for yourself (make films, travel the world et al), I want you to enable you to do that!

I seek my happiness in yours. I want to see you succeed and I want to derive joy from that. I want to ensure that you live, grow, thrive on a day-to-day basis and I do whatever it takes to enable you to do that.

No, I dont have the resources to do this for a lot of people and for a living and I still need to make my ends meet. Maybe at some point, I reach that place. Whenever that is. Let’s see.

Need to think more. Need to act more.

Guess this is it for the day. Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 196
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 108
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

220621 – Morning Pages

Quick post on how I spent yesterday and some highlights. And some lessons. And some thoughts.

6:42. I woke up a few minutes ago. I dint sleep well. I really think it’s all the coffee that I am having. I can choose not to have it. But the challenge is I can’t get things done from where I live. So that. Lol, I should, by now, either stop ranting about it or fix it. Each day I have the same old rant.

Anyhow. Good things about yesterday?

  1. I was tempted to have Diet Coke. And I did not. Thanks to Harshit and a couple of more people on Twitter.
  2. Oh, I am back on Twitter. Please do follow me on @saurabh.
  3. I found a cheaper supplier to get my iPhone’s screen fixed. All this while I was paying about 8K to get some screen. I’ve been able to negotiate it down to 5.5K. Let’s see if I can get it down a bit more. My sweet spot is 4K. I know I will get a crappy screen but the phone I use is like 3 years old and is broken and all that. I just need to get it to work for a few more months till I have saved enough to get a new one!
  4. Roam now has a desktop app for Mac! This means I will be able to take more notes! Yay!

Apart from these minor ones, here are a few things that I want to catalog for posterity.

A. I got myself an electric toothbrush yesterday. This one. I tried it and it was unlike other experiences I’ve had with brushing. It was a funny feeling to have something shaking the interiors of my mouth. It reminded me of all those dental treatments I’ve got done for myself. You know how they move that drill in your mouth? That. Let’s see how the experiment goes.

B. I was talking to someone to see if I can do some business writing for them. I sent them a link to this website where I write morning pages and all that. They looked at it and said that this is more like a personal blog and thus does not showcase my acumen as a business writer.

I agree. So, I need to work on the website to clearly highlight the kind of work I do. Make sections about my thought, about what I do (work), about projects (like SoG Book, SoG Grant, NFG), ideas, writing (for businesses, fiction, and films) and I don’t know all those things that I do.

So that’s an action item for me. #note2self

C. The next few days would be crazy mad. One of the book projects I am working on (where I have been commissioned to work on a book) has revived and there a million changes needed in it. It’s one of those projects that’s really challenging me at almost all levels – intellectual, creative, patience and more. Plus the story I am working on is very very inspiring. To a point that if I can build a life like the man I am helping write the story of, I would die a happy man.

D. Staying with writing, on a whim I decided that I want to help people write better. Actually, it was not a whim, per se. It was an outcome of the NFG session I recently took. I realized that the world would be far better if people could write better. At least in business communication. So I put this post out on Linkedin.

The thing is, all this work from home has made us Zoom monkeys and we are sending a million emails back and forth and often a lot is lost in transition. I want to offer some practical tips and inputs on what seems to work.

Of course, with things like writing, there is no universal shortcut or method. I can only help define a set of rules that could be useful. I am in the process of crafting content. Help me find out what all needs to be taught. As a business professional, what do you think you need help with when it comes to writing?

And no. Like other things, I will not charge individuals for this. I would rather have businesses run this. Let’s see where it goes.

E. I had some 2 KGs of rice yesterday. I mean I had rice for lunch. And I had rice for dinner. I love the damn grain so much that if I had my way, I would eat just that. But then, I know that it’s unhealthy as fuck and I need to stay away from it. But then dil to bachcha hai ji and all that. So I shall have more rice today. And for the next few days. Till I figure out what my next diet regimen is going to be. Or may till I decide if I want to spend the month of July in Delhi.

Let’s see.

I guess this is about it.
I know this is a short post but this is all I have on the top of my head for the time being.

Here’s the streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 191
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 103
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 0

030621 – The Thug Life

A quick short post on a day when I woke up late and did not have time to write for the stipulated 45 mins.

9:59 AM! I woke up 10 mins ago. This has to the late-est I’ve woke up in a long long time. And work starts at 10:30. So I don’t have a lot of time to write per se. But I do need to get some load off my head. You know, morning pages. So here we go. For 30 mins.

Let’s dive right in.

I finished the third episode of Mare of Easttown. I had planned to see 20 mins a day but I am clearly spending an hour on it. The third episode was a bit of a drag, to be honest. The first two, far better. But since I am seeing this from the perspective of learning about writing, I have a deeper appreciation of things they are doing in the show. So that’s cool.

Staying on writing, these days am trying to write #book2 with the help of this course on Coursera. I am still in the first week and that means there isn’t much that I’ve written apart from the logline and the story structure. In fact, I wrote about those publically here on the blog a few days ago.

Why I mention this today is because over the last two or three days I have been getting feedback from others enrolled in the course. Most of the feedback is from first-time writers (I think) and most of it has been very encouraging. To a point that I am enthused to write more! This simple input from strangers is making me go back and write more!

I think that’s the point of peer feedback. You feed off the energy of others. You get validation and you are pushed to do more. I am encouraged and it clearly works for me. And if it works for me, I am sure it works for others as well! Why dint I think of this earlier to get more things done?

Anyhow. Der aaye, durust aaye. Aa to gaye!

Also, must think of exploring more of this cohort-based training. Something that companies like On Deck are leveraging on and monetizing and delivering impact. This is EXACTLY what I want to do in life!

Lol. Kya kya karega, Garg Kumar!

Lemme pick the validation bit from the text above. This validation thing has been an important thread in my life. Especially in the romantic one. Ya ya. Too personal shite on a public blog. But that’s the point of living in public.

So, almost everyone I have been romantically involved with has had issues with my talent, achievement, and all that. No, not in the negative sense – they have been some amazing women. But in the fact that *each* of them believed that I was / am so talented and I can do so much more, and yet I am doing nothing. To a point that they start ridiculing me – without knowing that they ridicule me.

This has become such a recurring pattern that I dont know how to get out of it.

So that. More on it someday later. Time to get going and start the day. Miles to go and all that. Glad that I could get these 500 words in. Probably my shortest post ever. I can really get used to this thug life where you wake up aaram se, order your 300-bucks coffee and laze around!

Here’s streaks…

  • Morning Pages / Meditations – 172
  • #aPicADay – 0
  • 10K steps a day – 0
  • OMAD – 0
  • #noCoffee – 0
  • #noCoke – 84
  • 10 mins of meditation – 0
  • #book2 – 0
  • Killer Boogie – 0
  • Surya Namaskar – 1 (Managed 12 rounds yesterday)