Apologies for the somewhat negative analogy. I had taken a long break from my writing due to a family tragedy. For nearly two years I had not looked at my half-started novels, nor considered revising the one I finished, the one I love best. I have not written or revised a single poem. It was too painful. So I shut my computer down. I let it all go. I had to trust that the desire to write would return when I was ready. If not, well, that was okay, too. Why push it?
Two years passed. I wondered if I would ever write again. What if all the good ideas had been used up? What if I only had so many words, phrases or sentences in my vocabulary that could be put on paper, and they were all gone? Where would I find my inspiration? Would I ever feel the same thrill when I discovered a new angle or way of looking at what I was revising? What if everything I wrote really sucked?
Did you ever fear the same thing?
Rest assured. The writing and the motivation to write will come back to you. I went back to the novel I loved and started revising, and, whaddyaknow, I found myself thinking like a writer again. I was flooded with ideas. Maybe not a flood, but when I was driving to my daughter’s late one night, I had to pull the car over to take notes. When walking the dog, I had to whip out my cell phone to dictate notes.
It made me so happy. It’s a wonderful disease. And I’m not even worried about whether or not the writing sucks. All I know is I’m writing, and it feels good.
Don’t worry. You are always a writer even when you’re not actively writing.
P.S. that novel, In the Context of Love, was published.