Apparently, I have form for not asking all that many questions on SF. Re-reading that meta question, I was struck by sysadmin1138's observation that
My 'virtual question' count is a lot higher than my actual question count for this very reason. I get about 2/3rds the way through writing up a good SF question when I find the answer on my own.
which mirrors my own experience, and certainly finds echoes in many of the other comments on, and answers to, that meta question. So it seems to me there are at least two different ways to write an SF question.
I can bang out a five-line precis of the problem, and hit "post your question". I may or may not have done some research beforehand, but if I have I fail to mention it. If the site suggests an obvious duplicate, I may spend two minutes checking it out, but I don't waste more time than that on searching for previous questions that might fit. From deciding to ask, to posting the question, takes about five minutes.
Or I can carefully summarise the salient features of my problem, then show research I've done, what I learned from it, and how it didn't help. I can show other SF questions I found that I thought were relevant, which answers I tried, and how my results differed.
Clearly, the second question is more likely to produce an epiphany, and even if it doesn't, it's easier to answer. The problem is that there's a Dunning-Kruger effect operating: those who don't know how to write good questions don't know that they're not doing it. It occurred to me that the time taken to write a question may be a partial proxy indicator of whether due diligence has been done.
My question here is: how long, in your opinion, does it take to write a good question? Between deciding to ask a question on SF, and posting that question, how long should I expect to spend writing the synopsis of my problem, possibly including diagrams, and the summary of my research? I know I'm to some extent asking the length of a piece of string, but even then, few strings are 0.3mm or 1.6km, so some answer is possible.