I was working with my trainer on Wednesday, complaining how I felt draggy--had had to be out in the heat selling programs for a swim league meet the night before. I had a headache, but I had to get my 5 pages written before I went to bed. (I was trying for 7 pages because I'd had to quit early to go work the swim meet, so had only gotten 3 written the day before.) She commented how hard it must be to be inspired to write under those circumstances.
Here's a news flash--inspiration isn't really part of my work plan, or at least not the fairy-like gal that floats by and hits you with the magic story idea wand. No, if there is inspiration, it's more like the mud wrestling. (Not that I've ever mud wrestled.) I sit down at the computer and I bang my head against the keyboard (not literally, though some days it feels like it). I push the words and the characters around. I get up to have a cup of tea. I wish I was still doing something easy like writing regulations. I fret about how I have to get 5 pages done someway. I fuss with the characters some more. And eventually something will click and I'll get them to do something so I can write my darn 5 pages and maybe, if I've got them talking, a few extra.
Every day, it's the same struggle. Finally I reach "The End"--alleluia! And then I wrestle again--a little differently--when I go over the story and revise.
For me at least, writing feels like hard, dirty work. Not very inspiring. And then I'm amazed when I happen to read a bit of one of my books and see that it's not so bad. Frankly I wonder who wrote it. My name's on the cover, but I'm really not sure how the book happened.
Which may be why I feel the same panic every time I start a new book.