Yesterday I finally made something (the first thing in over 2 weeks) - a bracelet as a 40th birthday present for a friend. This Blue Agate bracelet follows a very basic design (as suggested in some of the comments) and it was good to have a purpose for my work.
I have decided not to worry about this 'break from the norm' and have turned to other outlets for a while until I feel ready. Now my hands ache not from hammering and burnishing... but from a day weeding in the garden and putting in new plants I have grown from seed. This was a passion of mine from before I took up jewellery design and it has taken a back seat for a couple of years.