Thursday, July 30, 2015

Write Every Day...

I am an annoying person, I accept that.  One of the reasons I am annoying is that I claim that people who succeed in academics may succeed for all sorts of reasons, but almost ALL of those who fail, fail because they didn't try, and keep trying, to write every day.  Every. Day.

So, you folks are going to find this study annoying, too.

People underestimate the value of persistence for creative performance 

Brian Lucas & Loran Nordgren  
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
 August 2015, Pages 232-243 

Abstract: Across 7 studies, we investigated the prediction that people underestimate the value of persistence for creative performance. Across a range of creative tasks, people consistently underestimated how productive they would be while persisting (Studies 1–3). Study 3 found that the subjectively experienced difficulty, or disfluency, of creative thought accounted for persistence undervaluation. Alternative explanations based on idea quality (Studies 1–2B) and goal setting (Study 4) were considered and ruled out and domain knowledge was explored as a boundary condition (Study 5). In Study 6, the disfluency of creative thought reduced people’s willingness to invest in an opportunity to persist, resulting in lower financial performance. This research demonstrates that persistence is a critical determinant of creative performance and that people may undervalue and underutilize persistence in everyday creative problem solving. 

Nod to Kevin Lewis

 Note:  I am certainly not saying that people who fail in academics are lazy.  Nor am I saying that people should want to succeed in academics, because there are many other things that are more important for society and more satisfying for the individual.

What I'm saying is that if you want to succeed, it's a simple business.  As Jim Buchanan put it, "Keep your ass in the chair."  And then write.  Every day.  So, if you want to succeed, and you fail...well, it was unnecessary.

I had lunch with a friend while I was in England recently. (We went to Nando's Peri-Peri.  I liked it; it was cheeky).  And we chortled to each other.  There are SO MANY people who are clearly smarter than we are.  I don't just mean people who THINK they are smarter; I mean people who are actually smarter.

The reason we chortled is that they eat their livers every day, because to them our (relative) success is inexplicable.  But it's actually pretty simple.

What did you write today?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm being too literal, but does "write every day" exclude cleaning data, data analysis, etc.?