Chuck Avery wrote a great column in The Star Press (Indiana): Confusing planning with doing. It involved genealogy research and the makings of a good novel.
From the article:
All these things have been enjoyable and make me think that I am writing my novel. But after a while, reality sits me down under a strong light, slaps me in the face a couple of times and makes me confess that I’m lying.
There is no novel.
Oh, I’ve filled a few manuscript pages, but after each tentative start I decide that I need more information before proceeding. So I quit my keyboard and pick up yet another book. All this planning with meager results has given me an understanding of why diet books are perennial best-sellers.
I’d swear he wrote that column about me.