I have come and gone from writing. I have stopped writing for many reasons:
First, I was never really dedicated to it; it was just a dream. I would be a famous writer some day. My name would look good on the front of the book. I didn't know what writing was and made all the classic mistakes assuming anyone could pump out a book. This was my elementary to high school phase.
In college, I was shown what real writing was and introduced to a lot of the core concepts of craft and what made stories work. I heard about the Hero with a thousand faces; I read some stuff no one would ever pick up casually, and I was taught that what I thought I wanted to do write was both wrong (genre fiction), but also a sign of some internal weakness or failure. Unable to elevate my craft and convinced I needed to make money (school debt :( ) I did not write seriously again for a long time after college.
Post first job, reconciling should with can; I learned some jobs are awful, moved, & picked up writing again. I still had not considered work ethic, a healthy habbit. The group I worked with was great; but I just wasn't there yet. I read King's book on writing and was shortly convinced that I wasn't able to take writing seriously enough to make it a part of my life and do it. A major depressive episode, laced with all of the fun of PTSD, hit shortly after that and a car accident. I gave up writing again.
Two years ago I had what felt like nothing. Didn't like my job. Didn't particularly like me. Didn't feel a connection to anyone. Really didn't like the mundane crap I was doing day in and day out. I sought help and was questioned about what a good life would look like. I'm not sure I know today, but writing has always helped a bit here. So I picked up writing again. I dove head first into my real problems: why wasn't I writing when I called myself a writer? I listened to every episode of Writing Excuses in six months. I read several books on the craft and practice of writing. And, I set a near daily habbit and tracked my process. At the end of the year I had 200,000 words; a beginning, a middle, and an end. And the whole thing didn't work. It hadn't really been planned. I'd gotten the writing habbit down, but still didn't know how to tell a good story. So, eight months ago, depressed again, I stopped writing again. It wasn't a haitus like the ones previous. I just didn't know where to go or what to do. I was burnt out & depressed about the project. Convinced I'd written something that shouldn't see the light of day, but also convinced I needed to work on it to be able to seriously say I was making progress.
I'm finally to the point in my journey I think is relevant.
I needed to give up the project I was working on.
I did the math and the time it would take to change the story I'd worked on was quite high; higher than my five year plan allowed for. I knew what the problems were. I knew the drastic level of change it would take. I was not interested in changing the story because even though it was flawed and unsalable it was the story I had needed to write. And it was proof that I could.
To prove to myself it was the right move; I wrote a treatment, struggled to figure out how to do that for quite a while. The treatment didn't seem consistent. It didn't build properly tension. 3 POVs that didn't intersect. Lots of classic writing problems I'd learned about, knew about, but hadn't planned or thought well enough to avoid. I just needed to write words; I could fix it later. (but I couldn't)
I started researching how to make a better start on the next story. I looked at all the ideas I'd written down over the last year and tried to write pitches for them (something I couldn't do for the last book). I picked the pitch that was most interesting to me, that my new writing group also seemed interested enough in. I tried to write the story and immediately noticed I was making the same mistakes I'd made last time. Meandering prose, purposeless in my scenes. I backed up and looked at something called the Snowflake method. I'd known about it the last time I started a book, but didn't get why it was useful. Now, it had appeal. It basically was a direct route to a treatment that proceeded the writing of a book. So now, I can make sure my story is internally consistent and my problems that I'll be fixing will be much smaller.
Ok, so what does this have to do with you now?
I recommend you figure out where you are, and where you think you're going.
Often when we write, we write to write; but we don't think where we're going. We don't have a map. We don't have a plan. If you have a map & a plan it's easy to evaluate whether you're on track with that. If you have plan, but it's unrealistic, you can adjust your expectations and your plan.
Take a moment and think about what it is that's stopping you from progressing. You know you can progress. You've made it quite far. There's something not quite right that's bothering you. It may not be the writing, it may be depression; depression is a beast that can make even wonderful things seem awful. Take some time for that introspection. Free write on what you're feeling, what you're thinking, where you think the problems are. Make lists to see where you could go next, what you could do; why you're not doing certain things. Figure out where you want be. Then be honest and challenge your reasons for why you can't progress. If someone else told you that's why they weren't doing something, how would you give them advice to proceed?
Evaluate how large of a project you want to work on.
Part of my struggle was that I wanted to take 200,000 words and turn it into 100,000 words without losing anything. I'd written the wrong story for my goals. I was misaligned. If you're writing to be published, try and be honest about how far you've come, whether restarting with something new would really give you an opportunity to get closer. If you're writing for fun, then figure out if what you're doing is fun; if the scale at which you're working is exciting or a drag.
Evaluate what you want at the end of the day.
Publishing is just not realistic for so many of us. The economics aren't there. The time management skills aren't there. The support network may not be there. If you're writing to publish you need the time and will to treat the craft like a job. That means pushing through the hard parts when you might otherwise choose to do something else. This means growth, but it also means that if you're doing this on the side it might not be good for your mental well being, especially if you're already stretched.
If you're doing this for fun; then give yourself permission to suck in the pursuit of that fun. If fun means having a polished work, then figure out what it was that was fun about the work. Have you gotten way from that?
If you're doing this to tell a story that's important; if it's part of your purpose then maybe you need to go back to the well and remember why that's important. Maybe you need to reach out to others that share your values and have some conversations to get excited again.
Figure out what your purpose is for writing, figure out if it's aligned with your current project. Figure out if it would be better aligned if you pivot.
You need to do you
I can tell you whether to continue the project or abandon it for something else. People tend to say you should stick with what you're doing. But most people who are in a coin flip situation (50-50 on whether they should stay or go) end up happier when they make that switch. It's just a thing that happens. Escape velocity is hard; but you only feel the need to launch that rocket if things aren't going well. At the same time, sticking with something when it's hard is important for growing. If you do switch, you don't want to switch right back into your same position.
Do you, but do it with your eyes open. I give you permission to do either thing. You have it. Both things are acceptable. Just make sure at the end of the day you feel good about your decision.