I went to a Morrissey concert a few nights ago and had, in the middle of the concert, an idea for a new book! Obviously, I can't talk too much about it because it's (a) super new and (b) it's not a good idea to talk about your ideas in a public forum like this, but I'm very excited about it! I've been wondering, now that I'm in the later revisions of my current book, what I will work on while I'm querying that one, and now I know!
Okay, sorry. I normally don't use that many exclamation points. ::deep breath::
Of course, the temptation is to abandon the first project and leap right into the second, but I'm pretty disciplined about not doing that sort of thing. I'm writing down the flashes of insight I have about the new project when I have them, but other than that, I'm just letting it simmer in the back of my mind and not forcing it. That's how I handle new projects or projects that are stalled. I just put them in the back of my mind, like putting a pan on the back burner of a stove, and let them bubble there until the solution presents itself.* It usually doesn't take that long.
I think this is why I've never had writer's block. Writer's block seems to me like something that happens when people try to force things. When I hit a snag on something (which happens all the time), I just set it on the back of the stove and work around it, or switch to something else (like updating my blog :) ). And, after a day or two, or a week, the pot starts to boil and ta da! Problem solved.
Maybe the snags are what other writers call "writer's block." Maybe writer's block is what happens when the process you use no longer works for you. I know a guy who worked on the last line of his book for months. MONTHS! But he wasn't "blocked" at all. He was writing this entire time. Just, you know, one sentence. Which to me sounds like the worst case of writer's block ever, but it didn't bother him in the slightest. Maybe, if I ever hit a snag and couldn't work on something else, maybe that would be what writer's block would look like for me. But so far it hasn't happened. ::knock on wood::
*NOTE: It's particularly funny to me that I think about this process with a cooking metaphor, because I don't cook. I make coffee, and macaroni and cheese out of a box (it's good!), and I have a few recipes that I can make if for some reason there is a dinner party emergency or something, but generally, my cooking skills are those of an average 10 year old.