Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quantity, intelligently managed, produces quality

You've all heard of the professor who doesn't publish much, but his/her work is of high quality, etc... That's always seemed counter-intuitive to me. Such people do exist, as well as the proverbial academic who turns out huge quantities of bad material. But the general human pattern is that if you do more of any activity you'll get better at it. If you're good to begin with, you'll get better. Even the mediocre overproducer will probably get better over time. The brilliant person who writes one or two articles will never get to the that 10th or 20th article that is even better. So my second stupid motivational principle of the day is that quantity, intelligently managed, produces quality.

2 comments:

Emma J said...

Ah - intelligently managed - that may be the catch. And how to determine intelligent management?

Jonathan said...

Ever practice at something and not get good at it? I have. The practice itself has to be informed by some expertise. Basically, it means drawing on strengths of previous writing while correcting the weaknesses.