As for my next book, I am going to hold myself from writing it till I have it impending in me: grown heavy in my mind like a ripe pear; pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall. Virginia Woolf
I just handed in my first draft of my manuscript and very rough notes for the context paper that will accompany it. It is overwhelming to have so much information and notes from two years of study and try to condense it into a 25 page paper on where my poetry fits into the poetic community. I need to take a half a day and clear my head before I start again tomorrow morning. Of course running through my head is the phrase "bird by bird" from the Anne Lamott book of the same name.Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
This advice to break down your tasks that seem overwhelming and huge into tiny little pieces has been very helpful to me since I read that book way back in 1995. If you haven't read it, it is one that I recommend to every writer no matter what level you're at.
The Writing Nag