For some time now, I have kept a journal. While I have not always been as diligent in making entries into it as I ought (really, it ought to be daily, and I have fallen far short of that over the term in which I have kept my journals), in the past year and a half, I have devoted at least a certain amount of writing to each day. (For the most part; I have not, as I said, always been as diligent as I ought.) The practice in writing has not done much for my penmanship, as those who have been abused by it can amply attest, but I have benefited from the practice in putting my ideas on the page. And it has helped me to work out a number of ideas for such projects as conference papers, conference panels, and sections of my finally completed dissertation.
Recently, however, I have not been able to take advantage of that particular phenomenon. I still make an effort to write a minimal amount each day (and am getting a better success rate in it), but I am having trouble getting my more scholarly ideas hammered out. It is quite frustrating, really. I am accustomed to being able to sit down with pen or keyboard and hammer notions into shape, finding support for them as needed (and often more than is really necessary). Now, I have theses for a couple of papers and ideas for a few more, but I cannot seem, somehow, to get the papers going.
The situation vexes me, and I do not know what has caused it. A couple of the folks I know have suggested that I am in some ways a bit burnt out from school, and I can understand that it might well be so; I went straight from high school to undergraduate work to graduate work to doctoral work, hardly taking time off between stages (even going from undergraduate to graduate work, I studied hard over the summer). Twelve years of running full-tilt towards an academic honor I was finally able to reach could certainly be having other effects on me at the moment. But I somehow do not think that it is the whole problem.
That does not mean that I have any idea what is going on. But I really ought to be used to that by now...