I have a friend, and once in awhile he posts on his Facebook or Twitter that he's 'off to buy some light bulbs'.
I know he's not heading to Home Depot.
It means that he's out of inspiration and he needs to find something to kick his muse in her pretty little rear end. How often does this happen to me? All the time. Sometimes I'll be on a roll and I can just feel the words itching to break free, I'll see the scene and know what has to happen and I can just write. Which usually happens at the worst possible moments, when I have no time to write. Like now, of course, when school is back in and I have to concentrate on my research project proposal and no real writing gets done at all. Sigh.
But then there are those times when I know I need to work on a project or at least come up with a plan or a plot, and...nothing. Mind goes completely blank. It's insanely frustrating. And that's when I head out to buy light bulbs.
What do I do to get those creative juices flowing? Sometimes I can read, especially if I can find a particularly interesting book that makes me want to write. I look for books like the kind I'm writing, but not always. Right now I'm reading Maureen Johnson's THE NAME OF THE STAR, and it's got me wanting to work on the last Library of Athena book - thank goodness, because that thing is giving me fits and I haven't even started writing it. But sometimes I'll watch a movie, or some Netflix TV (Firefly is good for the creativity, as is Doctor Who), or just take a walk, away from the Facebook and computer and work. Sometimes I just take the computer and go somewhere else-- a change of venue is all a mind needs to see something in a different way.
Your mileage with these tricks may vary, of course, but once you find your light bulb store, hang on to it, because unfortunately you can't store the darn things up for a rainy day.
And now, back to special project proposal writing... *trudge*