I write and I talk a lot. I write to share my experiences, travels, thoughts, to convince donors to grant me money and keep on writing, train people and be able to work with people I enjoy. I talk with friends, with my kids but also to deliver trainings and workshops (on, inter alia, strategic thinking, career management, intercultural understanding), to explain ideas and bring nice people to work with me.
I was once asked to “share the book you wrote about academic careers” and there was no such a book I wrote. I was only delivering trainings at that time. But I took that as a sign that such a book was needed and put most of my career failures and learned-the-hard-way lessons into “The Scopus Diaries and the (il)logics of academic survival”.
I find the academic world fascinating but also challenging. You meet many excellent people and learn a lot but its organization is highly disfunctional. Academics often get prisoners of their “economy of prestige” and give up a great deal of wealth, time and sometimes mental health for some not well identified prestige. The Scopus Diaries is a book trying to help people to think in a more schematic, perhaps cynical and irreverent way. But also to take back (some) control of your career, unveil some of the myths and show that things are not as noble as they might look. With a bit of planning, strategic thinking and management you can survive academia and actually find it a pleasant environment to be.
I believe that most of the pressure you experience during your academic career is self imposed and self generated. If you stop for a moment and learn to do quickly the things you need to “survive” in your department, you will also find time to enjoy life.