Life has a way of interfering with the execution of art (I am using the word in the broad sense of all artistic activity). Blame the cut-throat nature of the artistic world, or perhaps the fact that the gap between poor artists and rich artists is much larger than for any other section of society. Either way, this nasty thing called needing to earn a living and the other mundane things like taking out the trash and cooking dinner (and driving around the kids!) take out a big slice of time.
These nasty things really put a dent in the working flow. Like most writers I find it pretty hard to tune back into the work. Ideally I would like to write for a minimum two hour block each day. That's about how long it takes me to tune into the story, the characters, chip through the usual layer of ice and start to get the words flowing again.
Life is a little like torture at the moment. I just get started, just break through into the story and I have to stop and help with the groceries, or run for the bus, feed the llamas etc. The worse thing is when you are forced away from the work for a number days.
Getting back in can be a real challenge.
My way back in is always through the story itself - in the flow of the plot - and through the characters. If the break has really been a long one, I might have to first review the plot and do some thinking about the characters then start re-drafting from a few chapters back, or even from the beginning to get back into the feel of the piece and understand at a gut level where I had been coming from.
How do you navigate your way back into your story when life gets in the way? Or can you pick up the threads easily?