Sep 25, 2012


A really awesome thing happened while I was making preparations for my book launch.

Well, several really awesome things.

First, one of my favourite college lecturers from the English Department in UCD, has agreed to speak at my book launch to officially launch my book. Second, I've been able to get in touch with some of my old teachers from school and they will hopefully be able to attend the launch.

The idea that people who have been a major part of my education will be at the launch of my first book is amazing. These are people who have watched me grow, who have seen the seeds of my creative spark and desire to tell stories, and nurtured it.

I didn't have the best time in school. I often performed poorly in class, except for the odd occasion where I did well writing a short story. I had a very high reading age, as much as 4 years ahead of my actual age. So I became bored in school and gave in to daydreaming frequently. I was also a victim of bullying throughout pretty much all my time in school. It's kind of strange, then, that I got along better with my teachers than my fellow students.

But, a few teachers stood out and nurtured what good they saw in me. I was a pretty average student, in all. Never really excelled academically. But these people gave me more than good grades. They taught me to believe in my gifts and dare to dream I could be more.

Having them at my launch is like a rite of passage. In front of the people who most constantly worked to help me discover my calling, I get to stand up and enter this new chapter in my life. That's pretty amazing to me.

Did any of you have teachers who helped you get through the drudgery that is school? Have you kept in touch with them at all? Do you think they'd be happy to see how you've turned out?


  1. I have more of a regret, but it does encourage me. I flunked school due to bullying, and on retaking my GCSEs at college, my English tutor said to me "You really should consider taking English at AS level, I think you'd be really good at it."

    But at the time, my heart was set on training for a profession I thought I really wanted to go into, mental health nursing.

    That never worked out, for a multitude of reasons, and I will always wonder what might have happened if I kept on studying English. Maybe I'd have been doing Creative Writing at the UEA now.

    All I can do is try and find the determination to carve my own path, push myself forwards and work on being better.

    That's excellent news though, and just makes me miss not being able to attend the book signing even more.

    1. In my experience there's no one way to learn to write. Everyone finds their own path.

  2. I love this post on so many levels. I didn't stay in touch with any of my teachers and they are probably mostly gone, since I'm 63. I did have one English teacher who really inspired me. Bullying is such a hard thing to overcome. Look at you! This is so exciting, Paul.

    1. It's something I like to remind myself of when I have moments of doubt or begin to feel low. I got through a hell of a lot and left those bullies far behind.