Do you want to know a top-secret writer secret that only writers know? Writing is hard. And not always in a fun, challenging way, a lot of the time it's simply really hefting hard, in that way that kind of eats at your soul and erodes your self-confidence and makes you question why you chose to inflict this misery on yourself in the first place.
But somehow, you are even more miserable when the misery of writing is absent from your life. Even so, there have probably been and will continue to be times in your life where writing is simply too much to deal with. And you know what? This is OK. I've hurled all sorts of nastiness and negativity at myself whenever my creative output has dropped off for any significant period of time, no matter what the reason. I've branded myself as a failure, or a quitter, or someone who just doesn't "have what it takes."
Despite these dire predictions, you may always start writing again. And although the first couple of weeks back can feel a bit like running an obstacle course on a low-gravity planet while drunk on schnapps, once I've gotten past the initial hump, every single time 've come back a stronger writer than I was when I "quit."
By "work at something else," I mean that 100 percent literally. Some writers are fortunate enough to make a living off their writing, but a lot of us aren't, and even those who got there eventually usually didn't start that way. It's taken me years to be able to earn even some income by writing, and most of my money still comes from other things. And sometimes, if you're going to payment and buy groceries, those other things have to take priority.
Sometimes you'll be able to fit your writing in on the evenings and weekends, and other times it will just be impossible because your other obligations are eating your life. It sucks, but it's adulthood. And in the meantime you're probably experiencing new things and meeting new people, which will give you more to draw from when you can turn your attention to writing again.
Sometimes You Need To Just Live Your Life
Maybe your nightmare, soul-sucking mess of a job has calmed down a bit and suddenly you find yourself with actual free time. Holy crap, free time. In the past couple of months you've used this exotic luxury to start three new short stories and you're so motivated and then holy crap, it's suddenly spring (remember what spring feels like?) and people are drinking outdoors and going to concerts and your boyfriend wants to go camping and suddenly writing sounds a lot less appealing because HOLY CRAP, there is ACTUAL SUNSHINE happening on the regular. Remember what sunshine feels like? Oh my god, weather that is warmer than 50 degrees. I want to weep just thinking about it.
Do you take breaks from your writing? Let me know how often in the comments!