A dialogue with a colleague.
Colleague: I’m so stressed out, I think I’m about to have a nervous breakdown.
Clarissa: What’s happening? What’s bothering you?
Colleague: I’m up for tenure next year, but I have next to no research. This is driving me crazy. I don’t know what will happen to me.
Clarissa: What are you working on?
Colleague: Well, there is this article I’ve been working on intermittently for the past two years but I never have the time to just sit down and finish it off. I haven’t even been to any conferences since 2009 because I don’t have time to create presentations. I’m screwed.
Clarissa: Look, I’m organizing a talk by my colleague Jonathan Mathew. This guy publishes like crazy. And he has created this great method of scholarly productivity. I tried the method and it totally works. So he will come here and tell us how he does it.
Colleague: Really? This sounds exactly like something I need at this point. Is the talk limited to your department or can anybody come?
Clarissa: Of course, everybody is welcome. Do come by. Jonathan is very motivating and inspiring. I’ll send you the poster the moment I have it ready.
Colleague: I will definitely come to the talk. I just hope it isn’t one of those methods where in order to publish a lot you need to write every day. Because nobody can do that. This kind of approach just makes no sense. It isn’t like anybody really just sits there five days a week and writes for 30 minutes.
Clarissa: Erm, well. . .
Colleague: Because if you believe that such a method works you will just waste your time and never publish anything. This talk won’t be on any sort of a “write every day” method, will it?
Clarissa leaves, mumbling to herself: No, of course, it won’t be a method where you have to write to have something written. No, sir. My colleague created an approach where you never write a single line yet keep publishing all the time.