It’s bound to happen, sooner or later. You’re working away, making good progress, then you skid to a halt. Your fingers pause above the keys as you will them to continue, but nothing happens. The harder you try, the worse it becomes. Don’t despair – there are a couple of things worth trying before the hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing begins.
Get up and leave. I know, it sounds crazy, right? I’ve tried this and it works! I mentally “bookmark” where I am in the story and do something totally unrelated to the story I’m working on. Laundry, yard work, baking… choose your diversion. Periodically re-visit the scene where you left off, and roll it over in your mind. Chances are you’ll find a detail, perhaps just a word, that will get the machinery of your mind back into motion.
Work in a different format. If the forward motion is not forthcoming, I try a different format. I will sit somewhere other than my office with a pencil and tablet. I write random, related words to what is happening or where I think the story should go. Or, I might just write down random objects in the story, i.e. cookie, jug, silver, snow, etc. In a roundabout way, they’ve helped me find what I need to get going again.
Print out a page or two. Sometimes just looking differently at your work is the fix. I print out a page/scene or two, and read them in a setting other than where my impatient computer waits for my return. I proof, re-arrange sentences if necessary, and look at the words on the paper with a different frame of mind. That might be all it takes to get your mind past that block and see your way clear to start again.
You’ll have enjoyed a well-deserved break from your computer and it’ll feel oh, so good to be back.