Tag Archives: time budgets

Sign: "survey crew ahead"

How much time do you spend writing? Survey says…

Photo: Survey Crew by Rusty Clark via flickr.com, CC BY 2.0

Last week I asked you how much time you spent writing.  In my writing book I suggest that most academics spend a large fraction of their time writing.  I’d been surprised to hear a few people argue the opposite – and to find this estimate of 2% to apparently back that up.  Hence last week’s post, in which I gave a few reasons for doubting that 2% number; but had to admit I didn’t have any real backup for my claim that most of us spend a lot of time writing.  So, I included a completely, 100% unscientific poll, and I promised I’d come back with the results. Continue reading

"The Passion of Creation", by Leonid Pasternak

How much time do you spend writing?

Image: The Throes of Creation, by Leonid Pasternak (1862-1945). Public domain.

I spend a lot of time writing, and I think most scientists do.  In fact, I think many scientists spend more time writing than they do on any other part of their jobs*. In The Scientist’s Guide to Writing, I put it this way:

 You probably aspired to a career in science because you liked puzzling out proofs, making chemicals react, tracking wolves through the woods by moonlight, or working with students in the classroom or lab – but most likely you’ve already discovered that you spend more of your time writing than doing any of those things.

I’ve been surprised to encounter a fair bit of disagreement about this claim. Continue reading