Man. There was a time (last summer, actually) that I was doing a very good job of actually writing fiction every day. Part or most of that had to do with the fact that I’d finally started accepting that whole “the only good writing is rewriting” thing. And, of course, there was also a pretty solid understanding that it’s a lot easier to edit something that already exists.
And then I fell out of practice. I’m inclined to say that I had a couple of great reasons for it– world travel, moving, new job– but regardless of whether it made sense or not, the upshot is the same: it’s really hard to write. Again.
It’s a bit like working out. You get into the rhythm and the habit and it’s a bit easier. Your brain and your fingers know what it’s like to produce a regular wordcount, and whether or not its some great masterpiece, it’s getting better every day. And then something happens, maybe an injury, maybe something else. But whatever it is, it breaks the rhythm, and after a week, it suddenly seems so hard to just work out. You’ve already missed a few days, what’s one more?
And then one more, and one more, and one more…
And just like that, you’ve suckered yourself out of months of hard work at building a good habit.
For me, I think I’m slowly getting it back. Provided, of course, that I didn’t just jinx it by saying so. It helps to have encouragement and writing buddies (you all know who you are!), and the fact that I’m actually feeling pretty settled in my new routine with work and travel and such doesn’t hurt either. And I think there’s still a long climb before I’m as settled with it as I used to be, but for the first time since I fell out of the habit, I’m feeling a bit of it coming back. Which makes me really happy.