As a professional, full time author, I pride myself on never getting blocked and my ability to write no matter what. At least that's true 90% of the time...unfortunately I'm mired in that 10% where I have a story to complete, a deadline I've missed and I'm high and dry in the idea department.
Here's the deal: the story was due 12/31/2012 and I missed that deadline due to illness. During that time away from the manuscript my enthusiasm for it cooled and now I'm having a hell of a time rekindling it. It's not quite the same as being blocked because I'm perfectly capable of writing just NOT what I'm supposed to working on. It seems the characters aren't interested in talking to me and I can't figure out why.
To be honest, I've never quite understood the fickleness of the creative impulse. Some days are hot, some days are ice cold. Some manuscripts practically write themselves and the characters nag me at all hours of the day and night to get their story told. Some books are as painful as giving birth and the characters refuse to tell me their tale.
With this current endeavor, I've exhausted my bag of tricks--working on scenes that interest me, fleshing out the characters more using a variety of tools, taking a break and working on a different manuscript, etc. etc. Thus far, the stubborn hero and heroine are refusing to drop the silent treatment.
So I'm putting the question out there to all you writers, how do you handle it when you have a project you need to finish, but just can't get into it?