I'm writing a conference paper right now.
All I can say is, I should be writing every day. Even for fifteen minutes, brainstorming. This is what I've been telling myself since 2008 began, bringing with it an enormous amount of new reading in relation to my book project. I kept thinking, "I should sit down and process this glut of reading by writing about it - just writing random notes, just generating thoughts, since I think through writing and not through reading or talking or anything else." I never got myself to do it, though - which is bad. I just kept on ingesting, without ever working through.
But now I'm writing again - the first time I've written something new in about six months, and I see how much comes of it. I should be doing it all the time. Because, a) it brings me pleasure, and b) it seriously lessens my anxiety about productivity, tenure, etc., etc., by showing me I do have thoughts and I belong in this place and that, oh yeah, actually there is enough in my brain (and the material I'm working with ) to write a book.
I must remember this. Writing as tranquilizer.