After all day, pouring through newspapers—at one point I started flipping through the book backwards, just for a change (oddly, this helped)—I found something really important and a little bit ground-breaking, which occupied about 1.5 columns of the paper, took me 5-6 pictures to record, and will contribute approximately one single lonely sentence to anything I might actually publish.

Freaking research.

Another time, I built a database from scratch in FileMaker Pro (teaching myself along the way), culled and entered almost one thousand names and associated data, and did a bunch of searches to cross-check various things. This produced approximately three sentences in the finished work. But damn it, I detailed all that labor in an extended footnote!