I've written a grant proposal for my second book project. I've gotten a couple of people to put their eyes to it and give me some suggestions (thanks, Squadratomagico & T!). I have my first presentation on it in a couple of weeks.
And guess what? It feels facile. I have an idea that seems neat in the proposal, but I have no earthly clue if or how the result is going to say something really new. And that's terrifying.
Part of this, I know, is the result of being at the beginning of a project, barely into the new sources, both primary and secondary. Part of it is due to having just finished a project that managed to make a pretty original argument about a worked-over topic. So I keep plugging away at it, knowing that my real inspiration for the last project didn't come until I worked on it for several years.
I know these things. So why doesn't that knowledge make me feel any better?**
** Oh, but you know what does make me feel better? As of today, I'm back on the bike!