bulk counts

Look at any page of writing and isolate the common words, the 'thes', 'ifs', 'buts', 'ands' and 'maybes'. How many of these words seem crucial to the sense of the piece? How many facts or examples anchor the writing? You may be surprised to find that an awful lot of very ordinary 'support words' are needed to unload one apercu or interesting idea or piece of narrative. Richard Feynman famously observed that there is 'plenty of room at the bottom'- meaning that we can easily minaturise machines if we operate at the atomic level. He suggested that if we store information at the atomic level you could easily put an encyclopedia on the head of a pin. Because of the vast number of atoms which make up the molecules in even a tiny thing such as a living cell we should not be surprised at how much complex information it can contain. What is surprising is the comparative simplicity of the atoms and molecules compared to the cell. By analogy a book has huge numbers of 'atomic' words, building blocks that are very simple in themselves when compared to the complexity of the book. Its easy to be daunted by the book until you work out just how much of it is just scaffolding....Be that as it may, for writers the heartening news is that any piece of writing contains a lot of bulk, roughage, standard support 'ware'. It is this you must blast out when you start writing- not all the fine ideas you are having trouble pinning down. Susan Sontag was famous for going over her essays and tweaking the ideas, improving them on each round. Edmund White commented that her raw material was never impressive- but she was good at levelling up whatever she wrote.

You can start writing even when you are only half informed, or have only half an idea- just get those 2000 words down (I believe a professional writer should aim at 2000 unimproved words a day- 1000 if you have a full time day job). There is nothing more heartening than bulk. Later you can experiment with endless improvement. Just get started!