So, there’s an Aesopian fable to be re-written, perhaps? Not so much with tortoises and hares, but (Berlin’s) foxes and hedgehogs. But actually, surely it’s possible to both a fox and a tortoise? A fortoise? Is it possible to argue this a fortiori?
Among university professors, for example, getting tenure is a major hurdle and milestone, and at most universities tenure depends heavily on having published some high-quality, original work. One researcher, Bob Boice, looked into the writing habits of young professors just starting out and tracked them to see how they fared. Not surprisingly, in a job where there is no real boss and no one sets schedules or tells you what to do, these young professors took a variety of approaches. Some would collect information until they were ready and then write a manuscript in a burst of intense energy, over perhaps a week or two, possibly including some long days and very late nights. Others plodded along at a steadier pace, trying to write a page or two every day. Others were in between. When Boice followed up on the group some years later, he found that their paths had diverged sharply. The page-a-day folks had done well and generally gotten tenure. The so-called ‘binge writers’ fared far less well, and many had had their careers cut short. The clear implication was that the best advice for young writers and aspiring professors is: Write every day. Use your self-control to form a daily habit, and you’ll produce more with less effort in the long run.
(Baumeister and Tierney, 2011:158-9)
Baumeister, R. and Tierney, J. 2011. Willpower: Rediscovering our greatest strength. London: Penguin.