Authors have a multitude of methods for dealing with the disconcerting curve balls characters and stories throw at them. Some exercise. Some take showers or bubble baths. Some stay at a hotel or vacation home. For me...it varies.
When the ideas just won't come I have different ways to deal with it. First, I have to figure out where my problem is. Is it during brainstorming the idea? Is it while I'm writing the rough draft? Or is it when I'm revising the rough draft to strengthen motivation and deepen POV? For each of these stages, I have a way to work through the problems and not all of them are the same.
I'll save the descriptions of the different methods for the stages and focus on the one that has occupied me for the last week. My big problem right now is getting the rough draft of a story written. In order to get my mind off the issues of the story and generate scenes for the book, I tend to need to make things. Cakes, clothes, totebags -- all are things I've made to work through stuff. This week though, I've turned my hand to making jam and jellies. Since last week, I've made seven different types of jellies. My favorite two are Mango-Peach-Nectarine and Blackberry-Plum.
It may seem odd to use the making of jelly as a method of breaking through a block, but it's the simple kinesthetic motion of preparing the fruit, heating up the water and pectin, then filling the jars and soaking them in the waterbath that helps walk me through the characters' motivations, the turning points in the story, and the dialogue for a scene. Cooking becomes my "recipe" for breaking through writer's block.
When you're trying to get through a situation whether fictional or real, what do you use to help you problem solve?