A lot can change in four years, let me tell you.
You can get lost in yourself a bit. You can take a break from generating content and learn a little more what you enjoy and what you don't. You can find out the day after the anniversary of your son's death that your wife is pregnant again. You can move four times in three years.
When you finally do arrive in Japan, after a voyage through the Panama Canal and around literally half of the world, your wife will greet you along with the smiling, gorgeous, toothless face of your five-month-old daughter (we call her, affectionately and in the native parlance, Evie-chan). You might stare into both sets of eyes wistfully as you contemplate a call to service that has separated you from nine of your daughter's first twelve months. You can grow a mustache.
You can bow out at work, unexpectedly and with great churn. You can learn to ask for help. You can find your summit. You can not be melodramatic about it.
Four years later, everyone wants to know if you still have the edge. Do you still keep up? Do you still have the fire? Do you like who you were, who you are becoming? Will you ever write again?
Heed first the warnings of Ecclesiastes: "The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh." We should not write for the sake or love of words. My composition factory has moss on the granite.
I have seen that a writer lays down his pen like a blacksmith who has lost his hammer: the gallows are still, the chimneys are silent, and birds and mice run freely upon the hay. The neighbors whisper, "I have seen a fire in the hearth, but nobody has heard anything for some time. I wonder often if some great illness or calamity has fallen upon them. Someone should fetch the friar."
My brother is a friar. I am a wordsmith. My hands and my sinews have not forgotten the ways of the forge. I may be out of practice, but I'm a stronger and wiser man than I was four years ago.