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Trying to be a writer


It’s unfortunate that jobs outside the seated-setting of the mundane are considered to be extravagant ideological fairytales to the average person, and that a job in which clocking in to serve your time in a grey world for 8 or 9 hours a day, before clocking out to enjoy the colourful world that fills the small remaining hours of your day, is considered a perfectly plausible career path. 

The career path of a true professional.

Yet… As someone who not only has been labelled as Asperger’s, I could very much be labelled ADHD and probably a bipolar depressive. My manic highs, in which I formulate countless incredible ideas which often come to fruition in the space of an afternoon, though sometimes in a couple of weeks if I’m really pushing it, seem to be the ultimate fuel behind what is a would-be, could-be writer. 

I often find that sitting down to Microsoft Word – as I am doing right now – alleviates some poor unsuspecting colleague from suffering my deluge of verbal diarrhea for at least 1 hour and a quarter, before I eventually peter out and just want to go to the gym or have a beer.

Such word-based mind-dumps can be the most clarifying catharsis available to my manic little mind, as I find that if I can type the first sentence then the rest of the prose just seems to follow.

When you get into a writing flow, it is the epitome of such ‘living in colour’ as I badly alluded to before. It’s like you don’t even see yourself typing or the words propagating, but instead you can see the visions of the topic and the heralding readers all as it happens in a live panorama across your mind with the saturation setting on full.

However, and I’m sure those who have suffered ‘writers block’ and/or the far more common ‘clinical depression’ can relate, when the mania fails to write my piece for me, it can be a chore and a struggle to even start the first word… never-mind sentence.

This is the dilemma of being a writer.

I certainly don’t think it to be too loopy a dream to have your work published for payment, however meagre it may be, but I can see why the office-clocker who suffers the mundane daily grey can see such a career path as so crazy.

Because, when this flow is lacking? Well, I suppose I’m inclined to be grateful for my grey parallel life. It provides consistency. Grounding. And, perhaps most importantly, a consistent paycheck.

I have my up days and down just like any other, but when working for someone else I have both a moral and contractual obligation to fulfil my work requirements which, even in the worst of moods, is an obligation always met.

How is it that those who dare to dream bigger than this consistency fail to make such obligatory moral contracts to themselves?

Why is it that my manic mind is able to fathom ideas and concepts so enigmatic and far detached from my current conditions, but to make a binding oath to commit to my writing is still just too far of a stretch?

This is perhaps a topic owing to maturity, though most likely I’d say experience.

In my days writing articles for KnowHowNutrition, I would write up to 6 or more articles a day through until the early (and sometimes even later) hours of the morning… Though I came to learn that the 5th or 6th article written alongside the same amount of coffees was almost complete dog dirt.

I would of course not notice this until I was out of that manic colour-blind state, but I would always end up having to re-write these articles. Often I would have to rewrite them entirely, essentially losing the hours I spent initially writing it as 4am.

As a chef I obviously worked unsociable shifts, excluding lunchtimes, and as a personal trainer I had a fair level of control over my working hours. I have never had to contend with pursuing any kind of regularity.

The writers I look up to seem to just have their s**t together. As if they were born to do one task and one task only, and that every day they get to do it is an absolute blessing… and I bet this is true of many jobs! Allbeit, often when looking at it with a distant view.

I guess for now I’ll just have to keep plucking out narratives as they come.

I have a goal to write a new piece each weeknight, as it is comfortable to fit this in after work, and of-course my main target is to gather more published work as I expand on my creative capabilities. Yet, I feel there is more I can learn from other writers.

If you are a writer, please let me know if there is any advice you can offer. I am available on every major channel (as one is expected, nowadays) or by email at cgrcooke@gmail.com.

If you enjoy my writing style and would like to commission work in the nutrition and fitness fields, you can also get in touch as above.

I hope you enjoy reading my manic mind-dumps, and I really would love to hear from you, but for now I think that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.