As Autumn settles over Dublin I’ve spent the week indulging in one of my favourite pastimes – books. I listened to Emma Donoghue talk about her latest book The Wonder and enjoyed hearing Donal Ryan chat with Rick O’Shea about his newly published book All We Shall Know.
One of the things that I found particularly interesting was how differently both authors talked about how they write. While Emma Donoghue explained that she was ‘hopeless at plot’ and thus needed to plan out her story, Donal Ryan seemed to take more of an organic approach to where the story would go by allowing his characters to find their own way on the page.
Both authors are full time writers but while Emma Donoghue enjoys the freedom this provides her, while trying to find the time to work between picking up her kids and drop them off again, Donal Ryan is planning on returning to his old job because he prefers the security of knowing where his next paycheck will be coming from.
‘I use to be a civil servant who longed to be a writer, now I may be the only writer who longs to be civil servant’ was how he put it in his own words. And the reason for this is his belief that he will be more disciplined with his writing: ‘Now it takes all morning to go to the post office, but when I was working I was religious about spending three hours every night writing. I had to be.’
Now the week is coming to an end I can’t wait to spend an afternoon escaping into the worlds these writers have created and with the weather inviting me to stay indoors wearing woolly socks, drinking cups of tea I think my plans for Sunday are now made.