In the last 13 days, I have written a draft of an article, from start to finish.
There are caveats to be had, of course. First caveat: it's based on material from the book. This essay is supposed to be a more condensed version of the most innovative parts of that book's argument, but also with a broader geographic and chronological scope, so there's work to be done. Still, it's mostly familiar ground, not at all like starting from scratch.
Second caveat: it is indeed a Shitty First Draft, lacking introduction and conclusion, and replete with square brackets saying things like "[300 words here on topic X; see professor B's book, pp 67 => ??]" and "[get info on country Y -- check authors Q & Z]", and also, more than once, "[rewrite this para. to avoid self-plagiarism]".
But, wow! I wrote 7,000 words in 13 days, working no more than 2 hours a day. I wouldn't believe it if the evidence weren't sitting right here in front of me.
There's still a long road to go before I can show this to anyone, much less until it's truly finished. But this is seriously encouraging.