I have heard many times that when you are struggling and feeling unmotivated the best thing to do is simply step away from your project. It feels so counter productive to do that however and it is something that even now in my thirties I am still learning how to do. As far back as I can remember I have had the habit of becoming obsessed with ideas and when I couldn't get past a sticking point I would dwell on it.
I would think about my issue day and night. it would distract me from my work and invade my dreams. I would feel overwhelmed. Being someone that has an extremely addictive personality it would be something I couldn't control and it would drive me crazy. I had to put my last book on the shelf for either years in order to get the characters to decide to talk to me again.
I have noticed that when I go to work now I can relax my mind and there are days I will have ideas that I can develop or I will figure out how to get past a problem area. I even had an epiphany during a cab ride to work one day when my car broke down.
The biggest example I have had was during the drive home from a camping trip to the Grand Canyon recently. I had thought that perhaps I would be struck by the enormity and beauty of the park, and I was. I expected to enjoy the feeling of being in nature, and I did. Yet neither of these things brought forth inspiration for any of my current projects nor gave any ideas for new stories.
It was instead during the drive home for several hours that I was able to let my mind wander. I was able to come up with the entire outline of book one for an upcoming series. Once I got in touch with the main character it was like I couldn't make her stop talking. I could picture her. I found out her name and she told me everything but the dialogue.
I am now pushing myself to get through my current editing fixes and first draft of Sharing Strength just so I can get to her story because I am so excited to write it. Even more because it is a leap for me to write that particular genre I cannot wait to see what my readers think.