August 11th, 2006

View from study (sunny)

Another formula for success

green_knight has posted a link to an article here which tries to examine writing success by means of a formula.

It's not dissimilar to the formula we were given on the teacher training course, which IIRC was:

success = talent x motivation

To modify that for writing success as opposed to success in mastering a new subject, I think I would add the luck component thus:

success = talent x motivation + luck

(NB: I'm assuming here that motivation is approximately equivalent to "dedication + passion".)

But I think it's vital that it's a multiplication sign in there not an addition sign. I don't care how much innate talent you have, if you have zero motivation, you won't succeed -- at writing or anything else. Likewise if you have zero talent, no amount of motivation will make you a writer. However... As long as innate talent > 0 you can make up for that lack with a correspondingly large value for motivation.

sleigh has supplied values to make his formula work, but I still prefer my tutor's version, because really its only purpose is to make a point about talent versus motivation. Any actual numerical value assigned to the variables are purely hypothetical estimates.

Also, I feel that luck varies more wildly than sleight shows. Even people with zero writing talent have had books published due to a whopping stroke of luck, such as being a top model, pop singer, the girlfriend of a premier league footballer or similar. And then there are the people who could have made it as writer but were struck down by illness, the number 7 bus, etcetera etcetera.
View from study (sunny)

Photos of fieldwork

Here at last are the pictures to go with this post about doing field work in the Rhinogs. (Click on the photo for a larger image.)

As I said before, at first it didn't look at all promising for photos because of the mist. The lake had a very rocky bottom and shoreline.

More mistiness...

But the mist did thin unexpectedly...

And then cleared completely for a little while...

Allowing a view of the distant wild goats...

We have a lot of volcanic rocks around here, but these are sedimentary, grit to be precise. Here's a view of the end of the lake showing the horizontal strata...