Good advice from the author of Wolf Hall and my all-time favourite historical novel In Place of Greater Safety. (If you're studying the French Revolution read it, she doesn't put a foot wrong.) And here's what to do when you're staring at the computer screen and all ideas seem to have gone on holiday.
If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don't just stick there scowling at the problem. But don't make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people's words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.