When I am having difficulty writing, I dive. Now, I am not one of those who puts on a wet suit and snorkels with the dolphins or scuba dives with the sharks (Jaws cured me of that). I dive to explore and find treasures through old journals. Some of the journals that I keep close by are decades old. In them I find thought nuggets on issues that I was dealing with at the time.
Journaling is very similar to diving. I have to put on protective gear to dive through old journals. I have to watch my time and be aware of my emotional surroundings. Journal diving has complications and pitfalls that can trap me in a time warp or some place (cave of anguish) that I would rather not get trapped in. Journaling differs from diving in that I go it alone, whereas with diving you should always dive or snorkel with a partner. With journaling and diving I find beautiful things along the swim. Observing tiny coral or fish as they swim around me is a treasure, and is as equally satisfying as picking out thought nuggets from old journals. A story idea that I jotted down 15 years ago just might resurface and prompt a creative spark. I like that kind of diving.