I really love this post by Steven Brower for Imprint Magazine (June, 2012). One of the ways I encourage artists, writers, and performers to use their libraries is to try out an art form, a way of making, that is outside of their "everyday" creative work. This means writers take a few minutes to doodle, illustrators read a fairy tale out loud, actors create a multimedia collage.
I love this idea. One of the things that is true of work, whether that work is researching a paper or writing a song, is that the rhythm of work is half the battle. The act of doing helps a lot, even if you have to go back over it later and rework things. That's why, when I'm working on a long-form project, I keep a notepad and my little box of watercolors handy. Sometimes you just need to think outside your art.