Copywriting sober: you see what it did to me.
Before Christmas, I had a lightbulb moment, an epiphany, a ground-breaking idea.
I decided to get my life properly together and stop habitual consumption of alcohol.
You see I like alcohol; most people do?
Pizza with a perfect red wine; a beer in the sun; a gin and tonic with that first sip hitting tonsils.
But I decided to stop.
Stop for good.
I like to think of it as a long detox, a lifetime detox, a total cessation from alcohol – just as I gave up smoking 33 years ago.
The habit of smoking – and now drinking – have both stopped.
There’s another reason too – if people are paying me to write their content, businesses are paying me to tweet daily, I can’t afford for them or me (my reputation) as their brand ambassador to be anything but totally sober.
I now do all copywriting sober.
Not only that, I looked at my flaccidly expanding waistline and realised alcohol fed a relationship with food; wine led to cheese; cider to crisps etc, or whatever was available.
So 77 days of utter sobriety has led to a better body shape, a more focussed mindset and business as a copywriter and social media marketing man expanding, whilst my belly has shrunk.
I joined a gym and love going there to get my 51 year old body into better shape.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll soon suss my daily routines of gym, coffee, domestic chores and copywriting.
I have put fun back into my life after that metaphorical release from educational Alcatraz.
Not drinking and exercising has made me more productive and less selfish and less self-centred.
Drinking habitually made me fail to see the impact on my family, my wife and children.
Alcohol blurred my emotional perceptions.
Same with smoking.
When I used to smoke, my day was shaped by that longing for my next nicotine fix. I’m sure I stank. My house and car reeked but I was too self absorbed in the nicotine craving to see its impact on others.
I have other new fixes.
My days are shaped now by a need to parade live on Facebook and Instagram with stories, boomerang or handsfree or stills and building a digital following.
I do this, I think, because I spent 27 years putting on 5 performances a day every day as an English teacher.
I was good at it too.
But that’s gone, never to return.
That audience has disappeared physically now I’ve left teaching for good, and rejected what James Altucher memorably calls “corporate slavery.”
Teaching in Norfolk jailed me.
It won’t any more.
No one will.
I now do what I want, when I want, without the daily habit of alcohol, or sociopathic bosses in education, without the politics of the water cooler and without working for what Ryan Fletcher calls ‘low information estate agents’.
I do now what I want when I want.
Drinking and educational incarceration are in the past – my present and future is the “Riches of Niches” of writing for the property industry, forging relationships with positive people in my community, helping others and telling stories.
I see life now like walking into a bar or pub and being greeted with warmth and greetings and being who I want with people I want to be with – close friends, trusted work colleagues and my family.
Without the alcohol of course.
But I’m free to do what I want, say what I want, write what I want and do what I love: being my own boss, copywriting and taking selfies.
Without that educational and alcoholic straitjacket that was making me physically and mentally obese.