Back in late summer/early fall, I was noting that I was getting some words down, but I couldn't indulge in a sense of triumph, I thought, because those words were only Shitty First Draft words -- "verbal vomit," as someone I know is wont to call them. As a consolation prize, I told myself that those would form the basis for papers, and papers would be chapters, and chapters might be a book. Not sure if I believed it, but I did keep telling myself that, just to keep encouraging myself toward forward motion.
Guess what? Turns out that I was right. About the first couple parts, at least. All that shitty first draft stuff? Yep, it's getting dumped into the draft of my upcoming presentation, hundreds of already-written primary source-based work (and analysis) at a time, at which point my job becomes only to cut, shape, and polish. Ha! Take that, Girl Scholar's Anxiety-Ridden Brain! Look on my word counter, and despair!
Valuable lesson: All forward motion is inherently good.