confusing research with momentum

The perennial problem I have when writing is (blissfully, intentionally) confusing the research stage with momentum. I can read and read and obsess about an idea and then catch myself months in, not having actually written a thing. Incubation is important, and I know writing doesn’t always look like actually putting words on the page, but I really need to prompt myself to actually sit down and get a draft started, rather than endlessly reading or watching documentaries. Once I get an honest-to-goodness Word document going I don’t have too much of a problem with momentum, but I do have a constant, creeping anxiety that I haven’t referenced enough source material: that I might have left out some obvious thematic conclusion, or that I haven’t explored a relevant writer’s work enough, or I don’t have enough of a grasp on, say, 5000 years of Jewish theological thought to legitimize my creative work.

- Leah Horlick, as part of "Queers, Processing: A Dialogue on Navigating Works in Progress," organized by Alex Leslie and posted on the Book*Hug Press blog. You can read the whole thing here.

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