Is there such a thing as getting out of writing shape? I read the other day that if you exercise regularly and then stop, it takes three to five weeks before you lose general strength but specialized (sport-specific) strength diminishes in as little as two weeks.
There's no doubt that taking a break from anything you do a lot can be beneficial, but if you stop writing for an extended period is there a danger that you'll lose "writing strength"? Well, I doubt that you will suddenly not be able to string words together, but I think there is a danger that you'll lose momentum and some of the passion you had for the project you were working on when you stopped.
After all, the writing habit is like any other, it gets stronger the more we do it, but weakens when we stop. Of course sometimes life gets in our way and we have to stop. In that case, a few strategies might help:
1. Schedule your re-start. Put it in your calendar and clear the time needed on that date and afterward. It may be that you'll have to change this date and that's fine, but at least this way you have a specific target.
2. When you stop, jot down the next few things you'll write when you resume. For instance, this could be a note about what happens next in your novel or screenplay.
3. Unless you want or need a total break (when you go on vacation, for example) take a few minutes each day to think about the project and note any new ideas. When you resume, these ideas will help you get started again.