What I want to say to someone who, when I said I had finished my essay in a triumphant six-hour final stretch, said I should not have written for that long and should have read Boice:
I suppose that if you had a lot of free time in college and graduate school, and you had forgiving professors, you could turn in things that had been thrown together in a marathon session and get good grades on them. If you wrote your dissertation on a fellowship and had nothing else to do during that time, you might think you need “large blocks of time” in which to work. This way, you might become a faculty member who needed the Boicean advice.
But Boice is about time management, really, not project design or project management, and there is much about every project, including whether it is the one you want and how to negotiate with reviewers and presses, that Boice does not discuss. He does not pretend to answer every research question. Every time I have a research question, though, someone throws Boice at me, and every time I finish something by working to the end in some six-hour writing stretch, someone shakes their finger at me and brings up Boice.
When people mention his name I feel as though I have been punched, and want to gather a lot of his books together and burn them. I also visualize killing the person who brought up Boice with a blow to the head, and sinking them in the river.
“Let’s talk about Boice” means, to me, (1) I will not discuss your research or project design question, or how to negotiate. As far as I am concerned, you have an assignment and you should complete it. (2) Any problem you have, including judging the project to be larger than the time allotted, is a matter of discipline. Enforce more rigorous discipline and you will see that you do have time. This means you are supposed to work on the project without taking ownership of it, or of yourself. Telling someone that is poor teaching.
I am just doomed. If I rest, people say I am procrastinating, and if I get work done, they say I worked too hard. Nobody ever just says: great! So I will simply refuse to speak, I think. Or laugh at them.