My Life as a writer
When did you first realise you wanted to write for a living?
I literally never gave the thought of writing a second thought. I’d often write a little bit, then stop. When I went back to it, I thought it never made any sense, even to me. I struggled with concentration, easily getting sidetracked and moving on to something new. In 2018, I decided to go back and do a degree course. True to the past I struggled with concentration. I was sent to see someone who did tests, and it turns out I have a form of dyslexia which affects my concentration and data processing. I was then sold some software to make my life easier. In January 2020, I started a module on my course as a scriptwriter and found that with my new confidence, I actually have a knack for it. Plus I enjoy doing it. I’m still reliant on software but isn’t everyone these days.
Which writer, past or present, do you most admire?
You know what? The short answer is none, or I don’t know. With my dyslexia, I never bothered reading books etc. What was the point? I’d forget it anyway, so why bother?
What was your first published (or performed) credit as a writer?
I am a brand new writer so nothing officially, however, I have had work read through, and had lots of good feedback, so I am confident something will come soon.
Which piece of writing work are you most proud of?
I have written lots of shorts, all of which I loved doing. My piece of work I am most proud of is an end-of-the-world story I called Bieder. It was my first attempt at a full-length story. It probably needs lots of polishing, however until then I would struggle with anything, so this was simply an achievement in itself, just completing the first draft.
Who or what inspires you to write?
I regularly see things and they spark ideas in my head. When this happens I write a few notes and get carried away. With the current crisis the world is going through, I am finding it more difficult because of the distractions.
How do you switch off when you’re not writing?
I like watching films. Whilst doing this I tend to do online puzzles, which allow me to go into autopilot. I tend not to watch the films as much as listen to the story and the action, just glancing up occasionally.
Which one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
If you can’t concentrate like I couldn’t, then try and find out why. I left school in 1987. In those days, there wasn’t really dyslexia, just naughty kids. If they had discovered my problem sooner, I would/could/should have been a writer years ago, instead of now. Don’t leave it too late to find out.
Why are you a member of WGGB?
I figured I might as well make the most of student life. As someone who lives on praise a lot of the time, it is nice to have somewhere to get advice, especially in my new blossoming career.
Carl Cooper has come late to writing since finding out that he has dsylexia, but he is enjoying his new-found interest and a scriptwriting course.