I can't say it's been worth it, but this long period of blockage has been more productive than I realized. One of the things about writing that I find so interesting is that it takes place when I'm not writing. Or maybe I'm writing all the time, and just don't know it. So, when I'm blow drying my hair or cooking cauliflower gratin or waiting in a left turn lane, I'm writing. Stories cook, the details blending and maturing, while I'm waiting for the commuter bus or feeding my cat.
I've had what I think is a very interesting YA novel in my head for some time now, and I've been utterly stuck. I know what happens, all the nuts and bolts, but I couldn't write. I just didn't like any of the attempts I made to flesh out the story. They all seemed flat, like a deflated cardboard box. My main character had no soul.
Well, a couple of days ago, she started talking. Her voice surprised me, because she's kind of harsh. Definitely someone who doesn't make friends easily. Can I have that in a main character? Of course, I can. She's on the brink of a journey she can't imagine, geographically and spiritually. Now that she's talking, I can't wait to take her on it.