Web 2.0 is a great thing for writers. To be able to publish your work on the Web without worrying about whether or not an editor will like it ... just writing what you want and feel, knowing you will have an audience. It's beautiful.
I have always wanted to write a memoir, but when I sat down to do it, it just didn't work. How do you go about such a monumental piece of work? Start from birth and end with today? It's daunting.
Then, through my Gather and Newsvine columns, I started writing short personal narratives. Bite-sized memoir. Manageable and meaningful. And I realized that I can continue to tell the small, different stories of my life through articles, and then integrate them into a full-length memoir later. This has really helped me dive into the writing, uninhibited.
I would advise you to do the same if you have a hard time cranking out that novel. Write short stories that each feature your character, just write one scene at a time. It's a great way to overcome writer's block. You don't need to know what will happen, beginning to end, but just what will happen in this particular story.