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Aspiring Writer Inspired by Dublin Writers Museum March 10, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in On Writing, Travel.
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The Dublin Writers Museum is a must visit for visiting aspiring writers

I just got back yesterday from a 24 hour trip to Dublin (taking advantage of some cheap flight deals), and for the most part, it was a rather uneventful trip.  Full details of the trip can be found in my Travel Diary.

However, as an aspiring writer, it was also unexpectedly motivational.  As pathetic as it is to admit, I had no idea Dublin had such a rich literary history.  The first bit of inspiration came when I walked past Dublin’s City Hall, which, as fate would have it, was holding the Dublin Book Festival (last day too).  Despite the actual festival not having much to exite me (a couple of stands and some people handing out awards and diplomas of sorts), I took it as a sign (more on this later).

The second and true source of inspiration was a little visit to the Dublin Writer Museum (at 18 Parnell Square, Dublin 1).  It has a very unassuming exterior, and the interior resembles a quiet residence or a suburban office, with a small front office, 2 rooms of exhibitions downstairs, a library and a Gallery of Writers upstairs, plus a gift shop tucked away on the first floor corner.  But there are so many treasures inside!  I knew very little about Ireland’s literary history, and was completely unaware that some of the greatest writers in the history of the world were from Dublin, and most of them attended Trinity College (of Dublin University).  James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Samuel Beckett, Oliver Goldsmith, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats – just some of the famous names you’d expect to come across.  Each visitor is given an audio guide that adds colour to your journey through Dublin’s literary history, detailing the lives, struggles and masterpieces of these magnificent writers.  Just seeing the cover of the first edition of Ulysses or Dracula made me tremor with inspiration.  Just reading a few lines of Yeats’ poems made me want to whip out my note pad and start writing right then and there.  Their freakish abilties to use even the simplest words to convey the deepest of emotions left me in awe.  It was a magical experience.

I ended up spending about 2 hours in the Dublin Writers Museum, but I could have just as easily spent 5 or 6 if I wanted to.  There’s also a James Joyce Museum nearby, but unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to check it out.  Maybe next time.

You see, recently I started seriously contemplating a career change from boring lawyer to exciting writer.  It will be a massive step, one that would have ultra life-changing consequences, but it’s no longer feeling like a pipe dream.  I’m actually starting to lean over the precipice that I could not have imagined even coming close to a year ago.  I still don’t have a clue where to start, and whether I actually do it or not in the next twelve months is still up in the air.  But for the first time in a long time, I’m feeling hope.

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