I did some brainstorming this week and some outlining, both things I don't ordinarily do in the course of writing. I'm definitely one of those "let's throw some words up and see what sticks" type writers. That's not to say I'm completely loosey-goosey with the process -- I usually have some idea of what I want to see happen or how I want characters to develop. I just don't like doing the up front work and I've always felt my best stories are the ones that wrote themselves.
I took the more analytical approach this week because I wanted to see if I could break out of my writer's block, plus the conventional wisdom of "just write, make it good later" just wasn't working for me. I'd write a couple of paragraphs and just give up because I wasn't into the story or even the writing. Going in with a plan, I thought, might make me more disciplined about the process and not just rely on the 'muse' to get me going.
'Analytical' helped me think about what I was doing, but it didn't 'solve' the ultimate problem -- which is that my muse has up and left me. Some people will object to the term 'muse', saying that writing is hard work, and not just something that happens. I think there will always be humps in the road, when writing is harder than usual, and you just have to work through that. But I've got to call the inspiration and energy to actually write something. I want to give a name to that thing that seems to dictate the words I type. It's not just one thing, but it's a combination of things, and I would say there are plenty of writers -- me included -- who would say the muse is very real and present in their writing.