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WMB Work Hard, Play Hard ASPIR]NG INDIV]DUAL I VISIONARY PASSiONATE

"If I eould rtart over, lvould


I choose a different career?,'
In each issue of WMB,
our readers share with us"
how they took....

A CHANGE
o F HFART
The question l'm asked most is why did I But ia
leave the law to write? lt's a valid one, given of my min
that it takes on average seven years to qualify as a quite rigl.:
solicitor. Indeed, many solicitor friends were surprised, I was wor!
when I announced that I was leaving my steady job, would glar
to study journalism. As far as they were concerned, reporters i
this was just a whim. What they didn't know was that I Despite th
had been toying with the idea of becoming a full-time practice, I

writer for some time. After eigh'


English was by far my favourite subject at school. I felt burnr
I would rush to write an essay, while my Maths and a change
Science homework was pushed to one side. I loved to
write short stories and people always told me that
should pursue my writing,
I
"f alwa
But, like so many other teenagers, I had no idea back o
what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. What I
Law w
wanted and needed at the time, was a general degree right f
which would open some doors for me. So, I went on
to study law at UCC, as it seemed like the answer at It was a
the time. as I had inr
I have to say that I enjoyed studying law. lt was money rn r
varied and included modules in anything from familv that if I dic
and human rights law, to company and property never leave
law. At the end of my degree, I was refreshed and idea of stur
rejuvenated after a two-month work placement in 2006 I app
Germany. This gave me the incentive to continue on at a coup e
to train as a solicitor. I was offer<
I landed a job with a general practice in Cork City which was
and in the meantime, I attended the Law School Thankfu
in Dublin. lVuch to my disappointment, I found the me a chanc
l course to be tedious and I counted the weeks to my later that yr
graduation date.

1L
I 'qq
ln2OO2 and much to my reliel I was admitted to
the Roll of Solicitors and spent several years working
as a solicitor in the same practice. The Celtic Tiger
in Journal s
the first fer,
school. I en
freedom an
was at its height and the years flew by in a blur of made the r
conveyancing, corporate and familv law. was confirn
internship e
lee
I

I
SPRING 2O1O

for my mother. who js a primary

?erry
the Plavfsl polar Bear
school teacher, She would
stories to her class to jnspire
Writing for children gave
read
them.
me so
much joy, but I never thought
that I
could turn it into a career.
e I One day, while I was listening
t l/ to a radio programme about polar
bears, a story presented
itself to
me. I began to write the
story of a
kind-hearted polar bear cub,
who
l just wants someone
to play with.
Meeting a baby seal called
Sally,
the two set off on an adventure,
where perry discovers the
true
F value of friendship and
family.
Several months latet my picture
By Otive O,Brien
i:
book perry the playful polar
Bear
was finished. I set up my
own
But, I always knew in the publishing company,
back Post and the thrill of seeing Silver Angel
cf my mind that Law was my Publishing in 2OO9 and pubtished
not very own byline fuelled me
quite right for me. jndeed, to the book through my own
while continue.
was working in the courtroom, company. I had full creative
I When I graduated at the end control
,vould glance across at
the court of over my book and I chose my
2OO7, a work placement own
'eporters and I envied their job, came up illustrator, designer and printer.
in lndia and ljumped at
)espite the challenges of the chance It has been a very busy
legal to travel. I started working few
cractice, I was growing
tired of it.
as a months since the launch. Luckily,
features writer with a newspaper
After eight years of working the book has received a lot
in law, in Bangalore, South lndia.
felt burnt out and I was ready tt was of positive coverage and the
for my first trip out of Europe
a change. and the feedback from the readers,
chaos and colour of lndia both
was a young and old is all good.
major culture shock for me. I have
"I always knew in the lnstead of travelling to work
written a second book, which
will
in also feature perry.and is
backof my mind that a coup6, j travelled in a rickshaw, aimed at
children of a similar reading
Law was not guite which was a huge change.
which is due for release at
age,
time of
right for me.,,-
One time, I feli off a motorbike. publishing this issue
of WMB.
without a helmet, on my way
The road from solicitor to
to a story with the newspaper,s writer
It was a scary decision to has been one big learning
make, photographer. Unlike lreland, curve.
:s I had invested so much time it Having sard that. I don,t regret
and was very much a case
'noney in my career, of picking my legal career. as it was a life
But, I knew yourself up off the ground
:hat if I didn,t leave then, I and experience. But. l.m even
would hopping back on the bike to more
rever leave. I had dabbled glad that I took the leap
with the complete the assignment. and wrote
dea of studying journalism. a children's book
So. in The experience pushed me
2006 I applied to study journalism
to take a trip around the worjd
at a couple of universities.
Luckily, the following year. My grand
was offered an interview tour
at DCU, inciuded sights such as the
which was my first choice. Taj
Mahal, pearl Harbour, Ayers
Thankfully, the college gave Rock,
the Great Barrier Reef and the
me a chance and I quit job
my Canadian Rockies.
'ater that year. to start
a Masters On my return to lreland at the
in Journalism. I will never
forget end of 2OOg, I studied creative
ihe first few months of journalism
writing at UCC and I thought
school. I enjoyed my new_found that it
was as good a time as any
freedom and I knew that to start
I had writing a book. I always intended
made the right decision.
Thrs to write a book, particularly
was confirmed, when I started one tor
an children. While I still worked
'nternship at the Sunday Business as a
solicitor, I would write short
stories

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