Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rambling Aimlessly Through Faint Memories of Philosophy in Times Past

I've been up in the Bradford area this week, where I'd never been before. So a massive hi and a tasteful 'wotcha' to everyone at Batley Business & Enterprise College, and everyone at Laisterdyke Business & Enterprise College.

There was a lot of business going on and a little enterprise as well.

Also, I shouldn't leave out everyone from the surrounding Primary schools who came along to see me at Laisterdyke. One of you guys asked me the first question that has come close to completely stumping me:

What grades do you need to become a writer?

Seems like a pretty simple question, I suppose - because you don't really need any grades at all. You just need to write.

But I also feel that having ideas to write about is a consequence of a desire to develop your mind, widen your interests, learn about the world and ultimately say something about it too. So while good grades aren't directly linked to that, it seems to me that they go hand in hand with the sort of outlook that turns you into a writer.

OK, that made no sense. You see? It's 14 hours later and I still can't quite phrase my answer to explain what I mean.

My mind goes into a whirl of wondering about causation and necessitation - do good grades cause good writing? No. Most people with good grades will never write. And lots of writers got terrible grades at school. But for me, there is a definite connection between the approach I took to my school work, then my work at university, and the training my brain got, without which I would never be able to write a novel.

That probably makes it a conjunction rather than a connection, but Hume would say that was all there is to it anyway.

There you go - a bit of philosophy. Now you can all go look up Hume on Wikipedia. Especially the bit about causation. If you get that, you'll get what I mean about good grades and being a writer.

But if you get that you must be pretty smart already, so just start writing.

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