This may sound contradictory but the fact is I recently realized I barely give my mind a rest to think on its own. I'm constantly feeding it with information. It's like one of those poor geese in France being fed through a funnel to fatten their livers until they practically burst. I keep doing the same with my brain. When it's not work, it's reading books, or listening to audiobooks or the radio, or watching TV. My brain is constantly receiving external information and this means it barely gets the chance to have a thought of its own and produce something useful.
I recently had a chat with Kate Lace (author of A Class Act) and she said she didn't listen to audiobooks when she was driving because she found it an excellent moment to think over her plots and characters. Then Jane Wenham-Jones (author of Wannabe a writer?) also said something that applied to this. She sent a tweet suggesting that if you don't have the time to sit down and write, at least take every opportunity you have to think out what you want to write and this will save you time for when you do have a chance to write it down.
I know this is probably basic for you, but I'd forgotten to do this. I'd forgotten to let myself think things out while I was cooking or driving or having a bath. I was stuck with a part in my plot and I was avoiding thinking about it because I didn't know where to lead the story. I had many helpful suggestions from different people on how pull your feet out of the mud, but in this case it was all down to facing the problem and thinking about it. And that is what I did. As I was driving, instead of plugging in the audiobook, I plugged in my brain and thought about the plots and plans. And the answer came to me.
So I've decided to feed my brain a bit less instead of making it into foie gras and I know the exercise will do it good.
Did you ever have this problem?