The next two weeks saw almost no writing at all. Lots of activity, thought, and pacing around the room, but almost no actual writing happening. The best I can describe it is "churning". I toyed around with the text, adding sections to each chapter, then deciding against them and deleting them. Changing the "voice" back and forth, more humor, less humor, more italics, less pedantic. Lots of "work", but no actual text to show for it.
In truth, this is one of my (few, almost imperceptible, really) weaknesses: I overthink things. I get about 2/3 the way through a project, then stop and redesign it from scratch. Then I do it again, and a couple more times, eventually deciding that there is no "right" way to do it, and giving up entirely.
This time, the cycle broke differently. Lynn and I were getting together later that week, and I really didn't want to say "I don't want to talk about it" when the subject of the book came up, so I took the bull by the horns.
I rolled back all the work I'd done in the previous two weeks: just threw it away and reverted to the text I'd started with, then started writing again. I added chapter 24 and cranked through to 27. If anyone's interested, I had long since passed the amount of time I thought I'd need to write and polish the whole book, but strangely that wasn't really bothering me. I just wanted to do it. I just had to do it.
But after 27, the well ran dry. Every new job I thought of, I dismissed. It was too much like another one I'd already written up, it sounded too "menial" and I thought it would turn readers off, I couldn't prove that anyone was actually doing it for serious money, etc. Dry well. Apparently people who are actual real-life authors (not computer-geek writer-wannabes like me) have a term for this, but just knowing other people had hit similar walls was encouraging.