This weekend I started doing research for a new article-length project. It's an idea that's been buzzing around in my head for a while, but I finally decided to get off my ass and write a conference paper proposal as a preliminary step.
And man, even getting to the place where I could write a persuasive 300-word abstract was hard. The project falls within my general field of study, but the primary text is in a genre I've never worked with and the research I need to do involves several disciplines in which I have no training. The process gave me renewed sympathy for my graduate students--and how hard it is, at the outset, even to find the right resources or know which questions to ask.
But of course, that's what makes it exhilarating, too: all this new knowledge! So much stuff to learn!