A couple of hits:
I have been reading about critical thinking in board games. The starting point for this research has been chessmasters as it seems to be the game with the most extensive discussion about how to improve your game (versus the designer games I play which are cool but rather new when compared against the classic game of kings). The revelation from this delving has been the importance of physical exercise. For a mental game like chess, it was surprising to see the importance chessmasters stressed on daily physical exercise and a good diet. A sort of base for the pyramid of their skill. A healthy body, follow by rigor puzzle/exercise of your game, followed by lots and lots of playing. These words of wisdom could apply to any task really. The end of this is that I have begun exercising again. Eating better to follow.
The previous post eluded to my exhaustion. One of the things I have missed because of this situation has been my reading. I am lacking the mental power to engage with the hard books I like to read. I was struck by this thought by two annoying comments. The first was a comic by Penny Arcade with a comment of doing something just to be reminded how smart one is. The other is the flippant comment of my boss that "Reading is for suckers". The former made me doubt, the latter made me annoyed.
Finally, the writing is happening. Slowly, with some mental pain, but I have broken 21,000 words on the novel. The reassuring thing for me is that I still know the story has legs to make it to novel length. In my previous attempts I get sense around 5,000 words and find I don't have enough to say, or the story's idea has fallen apart. This is not happening this time and I am quite excited about it.
I hope that we can keep this up.