1. Think about an article that my famous friend Beth Harpaz (hello, Google!) suggested that I write and submit to a book that she got a call for submissions about
2. Decide that it's impossible and besides there's no way I can meet the deadline
3. Go about the rest of my day
4. Sit down at 9 on a Saturday night and start working on the article.
I need to remember that at least half the time when I sit down with notes for a piece, I am positive that there is no way I am going to be able to figure out how to write it. And then I write it. This one still might crash and burn for other reasons, but the principle seems to be sound.