Sunday, 17 July 2016

What do you want to be when you grow up? by Malachy Doyle

Just because I spend my time writing sweet and lovely picture books doesn’t mean I’m not the ambitious type.

When I was 10 I wanted to:

- Score the winning goal for Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup Final.

- Win Wimbledon, and run fast enough to win an Olympic Gold Medal for Ireland.  
- Be on Top of the Pops and have a number one hit single.

When I was 20 I wanted to:

- Change the world.

- Avoid work.

- Make babies. 

When I was 30 I wanted to:

- Get out of advertising.

- Get out of town. 

When I was 40 I wanted to:

- Run away and write. 

When I was 50 I wanted to:

- Make the perfect picture book.

- Become a smiley grandad.
- Go home to Ireland.

Now I’m 60 and a bit I want to:

- Run 5k in under 25 minutes. 

- Climb Everest. 

- Spend time with my lovely grandchildren

and Make the perfect picture book.

Some things change. Some things stay the same.  

Malachy's latest book is Sea Stories (OUP Treetops). There are others on the way from Walker Books, from Firefly Press, from Parragon, Pearson and hopefully, maybe, more.  


Michelle Robinson said...

What a happifying post, Malachy. And although I think you've already written a great number of perfect picture books, I'm very excited to hear there are so many new ones to look forward to - including the ones you've yet to dream up. They're always the best ones, eh?

Pippa Goodhart said...

I've learned a nice story about childhood ambitions. My soon-to-be-son-in-law went to a primary school where, at the end of each year, the children had to write down an ambition for the coming year. His one ambition, year after year, was to 'be in the football team.' Reader, he was rubbish at football. But - hooray! - he had a lovely teacher with an imagination. She appointed him to the football team as the team's 'reporter', so attended every match with notebook and pen. And he was happy.

Lynne Garner said...

Lovely post and fab to see that some ambitions have been fulfilled.

Moira Butterfield said...

Glad to see you've achieved so many of your ambitions! Writing does require enormous perseverance, and we can see from your successful list that you have that. I never had the ambition to win Wimbledon but I do have the daydream every year. It was always an utterly impossible thing (I'm hilariously truly terrible at tennis) so it's a pressure-free funny daydream that I can really enjoy!

Rebecca Gomez said...

I am 40 and I also want to run away and write. Not sure if I'll get to do that any time soon! Hurray to you for chasing your dreams!

malachy doyle said...

I didn't really run away and write. I signed up for a weekly creative writing evening course, then joined a local writer's group, then went away for a week to Ty Newydd (pictured), the Welsh Writing Centre. By then I was convinced writing was my future. Go for it, Rebecca!