I remember the beautiful day when I finished my American Sign Language (ASL) 4 class with an A. I felt so proud to know I had taken every single course in my language that my University offered, I socialized with all kinds of native signers, I was involved in the Deaf community. I dared to call myself fluent! Then...a few months passed. Family happened, school happened, my lack of a car happened. I didn't socialize much anymore, my only sign exposure was homework, I forgot how to use certain signs and other grammatical techniques.
Then I met a Deaf person, they signed at me, it went 'woosh' over my head. Yeah, I felt my fingers creaking when I asked them to say it again. I got rusty.
The same thing goes for writing. Unless there's a constant stream of words or something coming out of your fingers on a daily basis, you lose track of the story, or you get bored with it. You slip into so many passives it's not even funny, your cliches pile on. And editing that bad boy? You become ashamed to show that rough draft to anything else because the dark red stains on your words are so obvious. All that time spent honing your craft to turn that out.
Now, I admit I'm not expert on sign language or writing. I'm still in school for one and I'm still learning the finer points of the other. However, to sustain the skills I actually have, I need to dedicate myself to a daily regimen of Youtube Vlogs and manuscript/story slogging. Writer's block and mental tiredness are no excuse! It's like reading your Bible everyday, for my fellow Christians out there, it's a pain in the butt keeping up that routine, but it has to be done if you're going to grow any and keep yourself and God on the same page.
What have been your struggles with sustaining your craft? Or any kinds of skills you take pride in? How do you sustain them so they don't turn red and creaky?