Ann Handley has some good insights on writer's block: https://annhandley.com/two-little-known-tools-to-help-you-ge...
Accidentally, I write for living (in my native language, not in English) and my experience is that some activities interfere with my ability to write.
One of them is making corrections in drafts of a book. Exhausting and text-oriented.
Another is programming, as if I had a limited pool of written characters per day. If I spend it on computer code, I cannot spend it on writing for humans.
On a related note, although I should be able to guess the answer based on your presence at HN of all places, do you enjoy programming?
My theory is that if you enjoy your work (not your job as such but just the act of creating something from nothing), this energy is spent on it and you have none left to write with.
How do you think we should balance this? I haven't written like I used to in 7 years, and 7 years ago, I began my career in software development. I used to write while working at a factory or in college. I'd write everyday, because while they used up my physical energy, neither spent my creativity or my passion.
Spending mental energy wisely is a huge task. At 43, I am not sure if I have any good answers or tips.
The bulk: Wake up early, write/paint/do the creative thing for a few hours. Then spend the rest of the day taking walks, attending to mail, and the other nonsense.
The core message, similar to Pressfield's the War of Art, seems to be just sit down and do it, same time, same place, every day.
As an aside, we're building a creative writing tool specifically made to jump in when writing block hits and get you going again. https://sudowrite.com/ Sometimes you just need a little kick to get inspired and keep going.
Goodness knows how creative writers prevent it!
Same is true for coding I believe, it's nice to have some quick wins to get started with before trying to tackle something brand new.
I had an old car in the shed that needed a fair bit of mechanical work. Every time I got stuck or needed inspiration, I'd get up from my desk, put on some gloves and get working on the car. Or go for a bike ride.
It really, genuinely worked for me. I just needed to park some of those issues for a while and do something completely unrelated.