So here's the problem with a prolonged writing project: it can take a while.
I'm not quite up to the two-year process I've heard from authors like Ian McEwan and Phillippa Gregory, but over the course of a few months, life happens. And when life happens and brings changes, it affects the writing. Not just the quality of it, but the sense of inspiration and the pattern of work that carries a writer through the process of writing an entire book. The longer the book goes, the longer it takes to write, the more chances that that kind of thing happens.
And I'm afraid that I'm losing it. I've lost it before--many, many times--and usually, in the past, I just stopped. I quit the story, making it unable to work or unable to get totally enamored and obsessed with it again, and moved on.
I don't want to do that with this one. I think this one is special and when the draft is done, the revision could really polish it up. The concept still excites me, but I can no longer remember every single detail (thank God for outlines) or certain story threads.
When I was a teenager, it used to be because I'd move on from the flavor of the month and inevitably, Flavor of the Month was the male character. It's not the cause of the loss of it this time. It's just time away from writing--which happened because in the run-up to Christmas, my work hours ballooned and I'm just fucking tired and out of sorts.
So I'm writing through it, trying to thread my way back into my own novel. Trying to get my head back in it, trying to get back to an established "I have to write something everyday" schedule.
Has anyone ever lost "it"? Why? How? What did you do about it?