After two years or so of creating no music that I'm happy with, and feeling no great urge or inspiration to do so, I'm gradually having to accept that I'm in the middle of an extended creative slump. I'm still working on music in piecemeal fashion, creating little sketches or loops which sound... okay, I guess, but I seem incapable of forming them into satisfying or worthwhile finished pieces.
Making music currently feels like a pleasant and inconsequential pastime, a means to while away a few hours without it ever leading to anything more meaningful or inspiring: like playing Tetris, maybe, or knitting. This is fine, but far less fulfilling than the role it's played in my life the past, and which I'd like it to resume; it's fair to say it's now not only cramping my creative output, but also exerting a downward pull on my mood and my sense of self.
I've tried taking a couple of months off and coming back to things afresh; buying new bits of kit to freshen up my setup; limiting my process to introduce new challenges (e.g. working with just one piece of gear); learning new skills or exploring unfamiliar areas (building Max patches, learning the details of FM synthesis); giving myself concrete and specific creative goals, or loosening up to try and work without placing any such pressure on myself.
In every case, I've had a brief spark of renewed excitement, before the process reverts to feeling like either an irrelevance or a chore. I'm fed up with the pressures of making music (let alone releasing and marketing it) but also terrified of becoming one of those people who has a room-sized modular setup but produces nothing but generic bleepy bloops, or a middle-aged bloke reciting tedious facts about his collection of spotless and untouched Stratocasters in the spare room.
Has anyone else experienced this sort of thing? How did you get over it? Are there resources to deal with either the creative block itself, or the emotional complexities around it? How do you pull yourself out of a slump?