after taking a few months off from my latest novel project—except for cannibalistic forays for short story meat—I’m back into it and re-excited. my problem had been that all roads led to a scene in which an activist’s speech inspires the main characters to commit to attitudes they didn’t know they harbored. but what’s more boring and foregone conclusion-y than a speech? I couldn’t write it. I couldn’t write around it. I don't suffer from writer's block in that I don't ever experience the desire to write but can't. I do have stretches where I simply don't want to write. In this situation I couldn't go forward with the novel because the inevitability was too inevitable, so I detoured into short projects for a while.
And then came the Borders educators discount sale. wheee! I bought a pile of books I must read immediately, and I swear I started three of them, getting 30-50 pages into each before I felt that go-write-the-novel urge. it appears that a stack of new unread books PLUS a backlog of ungraded student writing created the critical mass of neglect I needed to get my mojo working. and the speech? I think I made it rock.