More on those four great mysteries…

Will Essays 4 Comments

When I was in Suzhou a few weeks ago, I gave a talk about my Sixty-Four Chance Pieces at the wonderful Bookworm bookshop, called ‘Four Great Mysteries’ (see the blog post here). In preparation for the talk, I scrawled the following notes, and although the talk itself diverged occasionally wildly from what I’ve written here (the wine helped, as did the fun of …

Thunk, thunk, thunk…

Will Essays 4 Comments

Bicycles are my favourite mode of transport. They are less grouchy than camels, they don’t have minds of their own the way horses do, they are cheaper than cars, and they are speedier than going on foot. So it was a pleasure today to borrow a bike from my guest-house here in Bodhgaya, and to set out to explore the …

Amateurs, Professionals and Bullshit Going Forwards

Will Essays 6 Comments

The new academic year has started at De Montfort University, and I’m teaching a course on Professional Writing Skills. It’s good to be back in the swing of teaching, and a pleasure to see my students from last year once again. This is a course that I love teaching, because of the way that it directly mixes philosophical, technical and practical …

Take Ten Books

Will Essays 2 Comments

Over on Facebook, a number of friends have tagged me in one of those chain-letter things, asking me to provide a list of ten books that have (“regardless of literary merit”) shaped or affected me deeply one way or another. I’m not a big fan of the “tag-and-pass-it-on” thing, so I thought that I’d put a list here on my …

The Pleasure and Difficulty of Writing

Will Essays 12 Comments

There’s a spectacularly stupid quote attributed to Hemingway that seems to be everywhere on the internet these days. It goes like this, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” It turns out that Hemingway probably never said this (although he may have said other spectacularly stupid things), although that has not stopped the …