It seems that in writing, as well as in life, momentum is the key.
In a flash of the very, very obvious, I've discovered that the more you write, the more you write. And, of course, the opposite is just as true, and just as obvious.
I started writing for money way back in 2006, getting a story published in a men's magazine - on a dare. A few weeks later, with my contributor copy and a check for $100 in hand, it occurred to me that maybe there was more money to be made - easy money.
The money turned out to be not all that easy, but most definitely there. Over the course of the next few months, I sold probably two dozen short stories of the 'Dear Penthouse' variety at $25 a pop. Fiction, though, was not my first literary love, so I moved on to writing reviews of dirty movies for two different websites. Do you see a theme developing?
The review work dried up as one site insisted that a byline (under a pen name) was just as good as getting paid. I disagreed. My reviews for the other site, still under a pseudonym, did earn a bit of cash, but their budget for paid reviewers disappeared as they discovered that, while I wasn't one of them, plenty of writers were happy to write for free.
Eventually, I stopped writing altogether, other than occasional entries in the journal I've kept sporadically since high school.
Each time that I took a break from writing, it got harder to fire up the machinery again. The whole process repeated late last year, when I took a break from writing and selling ebooks on Amazon. The smut I wrote will never pass for fine literature, but even after months of not publishing any new material, they still sell a couple dozen copies a month
The lure of semi-easy money has drawn me in again, and finally - finally! - the words are coming again. So to speak.
The point of all this - if there is a point - is that if you are a writer, or an artist of any kind, keep at it, even if you aren't trying to make bank. The older I get, the harder it is to get the engine started after it's been idle for even a short time.