Like many other writers, I have been writing off and on for most of my life. During my years attending Primary school in Ireland, I would write mostly short(er) stories and as I slipped into my teenage years, I began to focus on poetry.

Being surrounded by world-class poets such as; Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Patrick Kavanagh, William Butler Yeats, Padraig Pearse, et al., it was normal for one to be inspired by the poetry of the land.

Later in life, I would graduate to writing articles, seasonal short stories and topical musings. It was not until 2016 however, that my first book would see it’s way into print.

Having been totally hands-on with the whole process from the first word to the last and assisting with the cover design, it was almost an indescribable feeling to hold the first copy of “my book.” The closest feeling to it would be holding a new born baby as he/she made their entrance into the world.

I am sure that every other first-time author had similar feelings. Struggling writers tend to “fly under the radar,” so as not to upset their non-writer friends and family. They usually know that we “write,” but I don’t think they take us seriously until our literary baby arrives on the scene.

I had such a moment last weekend in South Florida. I was in a restaurant waiting to take away some food and struck up a conversation with a chap next to me. He was into yachts and this apparently being the major yachting event time of the year, he waxed lyrical about all things involving yachting.

When he eventually came up for air, he asked me what I did. I looked at him for the briefest of seconds and replied; “I am a writer.” I was ready to add further if need be, but he seemed like he needed some time for it to sink in, as had the martini in front of him, judging by the empty glass.

With that, my food arrived – I wished him “Good Luck,” and I strode out the door as I thought to myself; “Damn it, Jim – you are a writer!”