Or: how to beat writer's block 90% of the time.
Now, I know there are plenty of people who don't use outlines to write, but I assure you, this method works as well for "panststers" as it does for outliners.
You wanna beat writer's block? Go back to your character profiles. It's as simple as that. Everyone's book has a theme, whether overt or subtextually. And those themes, especially the subtextual themes, come about as a result of character motivation. So when you hit writer's block, just ask one simple question: what can I do to either fulfill or block my character(s)'s motivation?
Remember, your protagonist(s) AND antagonist(s) have motivations, and one of those should rule your narrative. That's what drives the plot forward. What would they do to further their goals? And more importantly, what can you (or the antagonist, or universe) do to make that difficult? Or impossible?
I reached a blockage point yesterday while outlining (and this is one reason I advocate for at the very least a small amount of outlining), and I thought, "What does my character want, and how can I make this scene matter?"
All I did was return to a protagonist's profile, look through her motivations, and pick which one I can exploit to increase tension for the story. Turns out, I managed to plan a scene that will work around three of her motivations. AND it moves the plot forward.
And for those of you screaming at me, "Giles, you just got stuck on an outline. What if this was the actual novel?" My response is, "I'd do the EXACT same thing. And I WILL. Because I know I'll get stuck when I sit down to write the actual manuscript.