This is an account of my incredible journey into the world of blogging. I originally wanted to write it down in a piece of paper, put it inside a glass bottle and chuck it into the ocean. I love the idea of my story floating to some random corner of the earth and reach the hands of a random stranger. The problem is, I didn’t find an empty bottle in the whole house. The red wine wasn’t opened yet, and the Jack Daniels is only one fourth empty. I don’t think my wife will buy my story if she catches me downing three fourth of a whisky bottle on a workday. So I forgot about the scroll in a bottle and decided to put down my inspiring story on WP. I hope it reaches someone and inspires them to follow my path into this magical world.
There are many of us who slog their lives on 9 to 6 jobs, have to commute far to workplaces, suffer some imbalance of work life balance at some point of time. A solution that always seemed to appear were the mythical Work from home jobs. The newspapers often has pictures of that happy mom who earned astronomical paychecks from Google by putting in just 2 hours of her day. The rest of the day was happily spent with her family. Or that handsome young stud, sitting in an imported car with the door open and a confident smile on his face. A particular style of trading (which someone teaches for some money) had allowed him to spend 4 hours of his day to earn millions and spend the rest of the day trying his best to burn that excess money behind luxuries of all known kinds. The magic lamp was out there, you just had to go out of your way to rub it for the Genie to appear! Bitten by the same bug as these successful individuals, I set about in real earnest to find the doorway to this magical world – through Google search.
Attempt One: The first thing I tried was stock market. I had no understanding of stocks, and had to prepare myself. After spending a lot of time studying reviews, I bought around six top rated books on stock trading on Amazon. The next few days found my digging deep into them. The introduction chapter was very interesting, as was the Table of contents. But beyond that, I started floundering, and by the time I learnt how to read a balance sheet, I had no energy left to read anything else. I neatly stacked the books into my bookshelf, which I dust once a week. I lost a lot of money in pursuit of stocks – by buying those books!
Attempt Two: I looked up the internet searching listings for a personal financial advisor who would be able to manage my money and invest in high growth avenues. After getting number invalid on calling up few of them, the first number who answered asked me some pointed questions about how much I earned, how much I spent and where. By now I was worried if I had dialled up the Income Tax department by mistake. But the gentleman next rattled on for five minutes about how they had made hundreds of happy clients rich in very quick time. Impressed, I asked him his charges. He mouthed an obscene amount which translates to a significant percentage of my total earnings. My sixth sense is very strong and had started beeping a red alert by now. I feigned the “bad network, can’t hear you” excuse couple of times and then cut the call. And saved the number. He calls up once every week which I ignore!
Attempt Three: If there is something in me that’s very appreciable, its my persistence (almost bulldoggish) and positivity. Refusing to be put down by my recent beating in the markets, I looked around myself for some other avenues of money making. And it had been right in front of my eyes all the time. One of relatives had started a YouTube channel – on day to day family life chronicles. Over the months she had created a lot of very interesting episodes, one per day. The channel showcased the life of a a typical Indian family – the cooking, the family banter. It shows her occupying half of the screen in foreground as she screeches a running commentary of what’s going on, while showcasing the great Indian family circus on the other half in background. It also shows the mom in law who is forced to cook a different dish everyday for the camera. “Hey guys! Today we are back with another very interesting episode of the same chicken fried rice which we cooked yesterday!” – just doesn’t fly. The audience is the God, and they didn’t hit the subscribe button to get a different notification on the same recipe everyday. Whatever – my interests were sufficiently raised as I witnessed her subscriber numbers rising day by day. And I started planning. My wife flatly refused to let me make videos of the cooking – the kitchen becomes untidy and un-presentable during the cooking. And she was not ready to cook a different dish everyday for my viewers. So I decided to be a travel vlogger. What’s better than traveling to new places to make new videos. You just need a video camera, a tripod and a good microphone (this one is very important) – and you would have your viewers lapping up all your travel details. And the money made from YouTube would finance more travels, and more travel videos and more money would flow in. I did a deep analysis and ordered a all weather action camera, a fuzzy covered mic and a Bluetooth enabled tripod that doubles as a selfie stick. It all cost a lot of money! Armed with my shining gadgets, I went to practice my art in a botanical garden nearby. I remember it was unusually crowded that day. As I extended the selfie stick and started with a “Hi guys!” On the playback screen I noticed several people behind me turn around and look at me with a funny expression. Some of them made funny poses, and a few of them sniggered – on the camera. Something happened to me, my tongue became uncomfortably heavy and dry and stuck to the top of my mouth. The camera kept capturing all my discomfort, and the enthusiasm of the crowd in the background. After a minute or two of stuttering about “the lungs of Bangalore – the botanical garden” I had had enough. I switched off the camera, dumped everything into my backpack and made a hasty retreat. Maybe my stars weren’t aligned properly on that day, or maybe the crowd wasn’t correct. Whatever, but the selfie stick has been used since then for lots of joyful family selfies. There has been very less action, so the action camera has been on the shelves. I take good care of it and wipe the dust off it once a week.
Attempt four: I landed up on the precincts of a legendary blogger who had made a fortune by blogging. As giveaway she was sharing her secrets to the community. It sounded like I had had hit jackpot after all those not too successful attempts – the lady was very convincing. I followed the first step to open a blogging account – on WP, a free account. The second step asked me to note down my goal in a page and stick it up when I could read it everyday. I wrote on a sticky note “to be a successful work from home person” and put it up on the refrigerator – because i visit it many times in a day to drink coke. The third step was going through a chapter of motivational speech “we have all been though this … You can do it too … Don’t give up too soon …”. I somehow ploughed through that to the next step. It was a link to get internet blog with a subscription link for advanced blogging tips and secrets!!! I promptly used the close button on my browser. I receive a newsletter from her every week which I delete. I haven’t given up on my quest for online money and am on the lookout for more avenues. In the meanwhile I blog random stuff on the WP account I ended up creating.
PS: these were old notes from long back. My quest for Work from home finally materialised a year back – when Covid struck!