Dear I Have Notes,

I was wondering if you could address the problem of getting stuck writing “around” a project—in my case, a novel that I have a lot of ideas for, but seem to be unable to sit down and actually write. I have 20,000 words, but it’s slow going and I keep indulging my desires for research, plotting, etc., rather than building scenes.

— Hopeful Novelist

Dear Hopeful,

I read your question and immediately felt the horror of recognition. I always feel great when I’m gathering research or doing interviews. I’m learning! I’m being productive! I’m not writing! Wait, you’re saying that I actually need to write? But I was having so much fun.

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