More and more often, After Effects refuses to start rendering.
Waiting for half an hour or more, is nothing strange these days.
You can avoid the problem by using Media Encoder: import the stalling After Effects composition, select the correct output settings in Media Encoder and render.
Don't send the composition from After Effects: the stalling will happen again.
So start Media Encoder as a standalone program and import from there.
Thanks for sharing what worked for you! I'm sure this will be helpful to some folks with tight deadlines.
However, your underlying issue shouldn't be occurring. If nothing else, please file a detailed bug report so that the problem can be fixed! Feature Request/Bug Report Form
The render bug isn't solved by using the Media Encoder. It appears to occur randomly and a PC is reset is needed until it occurs again. Something is filling up and then disrupting the workflow. I no longer submit bug reports: since 1997 only one error I submitted was fixed. Adobe should read these forums themselves and try fix them. I now upgraded to 2015 to see if that helps. I always postpone upgrading as long as possible as many "upgrades" are either not to my likings or total hype.