Inspiration is a very fickle and strange thing. It can be natural or completely out of reach all in the same day. Scrolling through my Instagram feed can inspire me to great things or make me feel like absolute garbage and want to stay under the covers for hours.
I used to worry so much and feel so guilty when I didn't feel motivated or inspired, but I now see that as a waste of energy. I think my problem was that motivation and inspiration used to be so intrinsically linked in my mind. I only worked hard when I felt inspired, which used to be kind of rare.
Work needs to come without inspiration.
How does work come without inspiration? Inspiration isn't supposed to be rare, but it does only come when you're experiencing other things. Inspiration doesn't occur in a vaccuum. You have to be learning, working, and living for it to come to you. Work is just a part of the machine that creates inspiration. I used to think I needed inspiration to do work, but the opposite is true - do the work, and more ideas will come to you. That's a huge lesson that motivates me every day, knowing that what I do that day will generate more solutions, more thoughts, more questions, and ultimately will make my experience richer.
The street runs both ways - so when I work more, I get more ideas. Success breeds success. But when I don't work, when I don't talk to other people, when I do nothing and lay in bed all day being afraid and feeling bad for myself - that doesn't create anything. Stress breeds more stress. Just doing the work will clear the stress, fear, and doubt.
Do bad work, even if it's really ugly and not up to your standards, but do it with intention and thought and learn from it so that it will get better with time. If I'm lying in bed, thinking about all the stupid things I said and did that day, I should be excited to start the next day - I've learned from my mistakes and know not to do them that way the next time.
I remember reading a truncated version of this quote from Chuck Close years ago, maybe in college, and I sort of understood it, but not deeply or from experience. I was so excited to recently see the full quote, knowing what I know now, after learning the hard way. I hope it helps you, if you have trouble finding the energy to do what you want to. <3
Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.