I've heard it said that when do something for two weeks straight it becomes habit. Whether it's exercise, waking up earlier, writing, two weeks is the magic number.
In the past I've found this to be true. Earlier this year I made a goal of waking up a half hour earlier. And now I can't sleep in past 7:30. I'm a total sleep whore, so this is a miracle. And I'm proud that I wake up early enough to get things done around the house before the kids wake up. (Not that you can do much with a watermelon attached to what used to be your stomach.) This also worked really great when it came to my writing. I know many people say that you should write EVERY DAY, but that's just not feasible for me with three little ones and another on the way. Instead I made a goal of writing down two thousand words a week. This is perfect because then if I only get a couple hundred (and often times ZERO) down, I know that I can make up for it on days when I have more time. Things were going great, I was on a streak. My story was really going somewhere. Then I got sick. And I lost any and all brain functionality to the illness.
Now I'm finding it harder and harder to get back into the groove of things. Once your schedule is shook up in such a way, it's hard to get back into it. It's a lot like getting an injury when you're exercising. One day you're on that treadmill getting to your goal for the day, and then, next thing you know one of your kids throws a toy right at your feet and you end up twisting an ankle. (Yes my children like to do that, and no I have not YET received an injury from it, thankfully). You go to the doctor, you're told to rest. You can't do much of anything. Then, once you're healed, you have to strengthen your injured ankle before getting back to it. You can't just jump right back in and start running however many miles a day again. It takes time. And it's incredibly frustrating to lose all that hard work. That's where I'm at right now. I'm in the recovery stage. I'm strengthening my writing muscles before getting back on that treadmill and doing my weekly miles. At times I feel like I'm making no progress at all, but when you take into account that I wasn't writing at all a few weeks ago, I know I'm doing better.
If any of you are struggling, trying to get back into the writing groove, you're not alone. Keep working. It may be just a few hundred words this week (maybe less), but pretty soon you'll be back on the track you want to be on. Until then, I'll keep exercising my writing muscles.