There is a fine line between researching a project and looking for an excuse not to work on it. I can honestly say that I do a larger part procrastination than preparation. I have been working on researching several books that I am planning to write, telling myself that if I have all the information ahead of time then I will be able to jump from one completed project to the beginning of the next. The theory is there but the reasoning is a little iffy.
One could argue that by learning about the books as I begin them it could help put me in the right mindset for the story and that would allow me to focus more fully on the book as I go along. There are pros and cons to doing it either way. By taking the time to look things up and become a fast expert with the start of each new book there is a delay in writing it. However that delay allows me to more fully immerse myself in what I am working on.
By gathering the information ahead of time I only need to skim everything and can start more quickly on new books but there isn't much time to decompress from one book before heading into another. This can cause an overlap styles or even a lack of focus in the story. Because of the conflict I am attempting a compromise of outlining and basic information with a list of further research for each story and then I can finish the list as I take on that book.
This morning I noticed a new level of my professional avoidance however. I have taken to working to improve my writing and editing skills at the expense of actually writing or editing. I am getting ready to order several books on writing a better story which I will delve into, take notes and then (I tell myself) I will put the new information into practice. I do question somewhat if my fear of rejection and constant struggle with self esteem will ever allow me to do more than dream about putting what I learn into practice but I do believe that part of me really does want to try.
The battle is real and I know learning is important, I am still finding the balance but I know with work I will get there. For those like me out there walking the fine line, have faith. We will find our balance someday. Even if you fall off the wire just remember you are further along than when you started. There is no shame in climbing up to start again.