Most artists suffer from some form of insecurity. This combined with an extremely competitive, opinionated, and critical environment that they function within can be extremely difficult to stay motivated, inspired, and continue to produce works that they are content with.
If you were to poll people in any creative industry, and they were to answer honestly, most would probably say that they often feel like they are a fraud. They aren’t THAT creative, they aren’t THAT talented… they struggle consistently.
Most people who claim otherwise are simply masking those insecurities and suffer the same as everyone else. There are some people who honestly believe that they are a creative savant and arguably are, however I like the think that having insecurities can be just as, or more, important than confidence. It keeps you sharp, it keeps you wanting to grow (and feeling like you can), helps you catch mistakes and work out all the details, and it humbles you.
Many of the great painters, sculptures, and our historical creative predecessors created their works in a time where religion reigned more dominantly across the board and worked its way into their process. For many of them, they actually believed that inspiration was a form of divine creative intervention. So when they had a less than productive day, or worse, a failed creation, they would not blame themselves.
I assume there are far fewer people today that have the same beliefs, however in a way I don’t think they are completely inaccurate. Creativity doesn’t come from within, it is not innately enabled within everyone, creativity, and more importantly, inspiration comes from without.
If you want to be more creative and more productive, immerse yourself in a subject. Know as much as you can about it. Then forget about it, let you brain process what you have learned and immerse yourself in something completely different, something new. Walk down a street you never have before, travel to a new place, watch a new movie, listen to different music. You will start to bridge those new experiences and new perspectives with preexisting questions and problems, they will help you fill in those blanks with information you never had before.
So in a way, you aren’t to blame, your environment and your process is. Relief! …well, sort of. You still are to blame, you need to change something you are doing.
There is always this question and argument over whether it is nature or nurture. It is simply both. Some people are predisposed to something through nature, but they can change that through nurture (training, reprogramming, etc.). I think some people are born with a more creative, or visual, or musical ability and are at an advantage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t train to think and perceive more like them.
Practice. Surround yourself with aspirations. Change your scenery. Modify your process. Try new things. Practice. Practice… oh yea, practice.
Holy crap that was a long ramble, I hope some of it makes sense.