I didn't just tinker yesterday - I wrote over 1,000 words. I haven't written that much fiction at once in a long time. And I've added about another 500 words today, so far.
I've battled writers block for nearly 30 years. As a result, I haven't really submitted very much, and focused on writing at work (which generally went fine) and Web writing (which has generally come pretty easily to me).
Most of the fiction writing I've done since 1973 has been SF/horror, mostly short bits and story outlines. Four years ago, when I was finishing up my long-delayed BA and taking a wonderful writing class with Chuck Kinder at Pitt, I started writing a contemporary novel. I've worked on it a little at a time since then, and, at one point, didn't look at it for a year. A few months ago I looked at it and found it really had possibilities, but, other than a little tinkering, I just wasn't writing then.
A few weeks ago, while sick, I was watching daytime TV and heard Jennifer Weiner talk on the Jane Pauley Show. I remembered seeing her book, Good in Bed, while I was working at Borders and thought it looked amusing. What I didn't realize was that it had a fat protagonist, and she discussed this point in detail. I also started reading her blog that day and enjoyed her writing. But would her book mean I shouldn't even bother to finish my novel, which also featured the humourous/amorous observations of a fat, female protagonist?
So I bought Good in Bed and started reading it. It's, on the whole, very funny and reasonably different from the book I've been writing. Without knowing it, I've been writing a response to her book. And maybe that's been helping me subconsciously - there's a market out there buying books with "nonstandard" heroines.