A friend of mine elsewhere on the 'net has been agonizing over an idea for a novel for several years now - trying to work out the characters and plot points and such, but has made very little measurable progress on writing it. Last week, it finally occurred to me that his angst over this particular work, and his efforts at trying to make it good (for some unreasonably high definition of good) was getting in the way of writing anything at all.
So I issued him this challenge: Set that story aside, and write me something terrible. It should suck in every way possible - bad characters, weak plot, lame dialogue, ad nauseum. Nobody should *want* to read it. It needs to be ten pages of suckitude that sucks mountains through a drinking straw, and you have exactly one week to do it in.
Because if you try too hard to make a story good it can have a completely paralyzing effect. What better way to get the muse back in the room than to deliberately make something that sucks? Without the emotional investment, the writing should be easier.
And some part of it might turn out to have redeeming value, despite your best efforts at deliberate failure. After all, writing something bad can be better than writing nothing at all!