After many years of mental work I’ve come to acknowledge the fact that during nearly every solitary creative effort there is a bottleneck period. Subjectively it feels mostly like a painful phase of muddle-headed emptiness of the conscious mind. External input, be it through reading, talk, or any less-processed stimuli of the senses seems to have significantly less meaning at this stage. One feels utterly helpless and stupid.
What makes this experience particularly annoying is the fact that there is no real means to distinguish it from sheer hesitation or procrastination. One simply does not know whether it is the mind’s work or the will’s that leads to the ecountered exhaustion. But maybe there is less difference between the two than we might think.