1. Sit by the window. If the seat is taken, ask to swap. Explain that it is a matter of life and death. Theirs. If they won’t budge, sit on their lap. If they resist, stroke them gently behind the ear, purring as you do so.
  2. Stare out of the window every 3rd word – this will kill any lazy words and turn ideas into flying stoats.
  3. Be nosy. The person opposite can’t see that you’re writing about their hair, their habits, the dark thoughts about you brewing in their head. Beware writing about the person beside you – they may lean and press chewed gum into your delete button.
  4. Feel the rhythm of the train. Write at its speed. Stop when it stops. Should it crash, don’t hang around to save your novel/screenplay/blog/tweet as you may be on fire.
  5. Drink rough red wine. They’ll sell it on board, next to the insulation-accredited muffins. If you’re driving at the other end, don’t tell the officer you were simply obeying these rules.
  6. When your words are complete, read them aloud to your fellow passengers. Should love ensue, invite us to the wedding.