At some point, research is a distraction and it really is time to get down to the writing. That’s where I’m at with the Cosmic Ray Expedition book right now.
“If I let myself, I would research forever. (I think I belong more in [Austin] Kleon’s “resistance” camp rather than “perfectionist” although I wish there was a “paranoid I might be missing something” camp I could claim.) I feel this quote from Greil Marcus very much: “I began to poke around, and the more I found, the less I knew.” That is so true – not so much about the mountaineering but about Allen Carpe’s varied career (I still can’t believe the degree to which he has been forgotten) and the battle among physicists over cosmic rays. But more than anything, all of this comes down to fear, of course, which is what stops every writer from writing. We are afraid of the blank page and our inability to put everything the subject demands onto it. Research is just another way to put off the challenge presented by the blank page.”