This is a very good question. My answer is a complete and total mixture of both.
This summer I went to a writer’s conference and watched two writers argue over how to write. Writer A could be told a topic and he could sit down and write what needed to be written. Writer B said she would rather skin herself alive. She has to have passion about what she’s writing. It has to inspire her. So writer A sits down and bangs it out. So does writer B, but she needs to be inspired by what she’s writing.
I think we have to figure out which one we are. I’m a mixture. I have to have passion about what I’m writing about but I also have to sit down and write it.
I’m at an icky part in my manuscript right now. It’s hard to write. So I’ve shopped for Christmas, run a half marathon and planned Black Friday shopping. I’ve also volunteered at my children’s school and done my husband’s books. I’ve been very productive. Life is flowing smoothly. My book isn’t flowing at all. I look at it and I frown because I know what has to be done to it and I don’t wanna. But I want to finish it. So I’ve got to work.
But if I’m not inspired by my writing, then I won’t sit down and get it done. I tried my hand at writing ads. If I believed in the product, it came out smoothly. If I didn’t, I couldn’t do it. It was truly horrid.
I want my WIP story told. I believe in my story. Inspiration gets me to sit down and bang it out even when I’m at an icky part.
So I work with a 50/50 mix. I have to be inspired to sit down and start to work. But I have to keep working when the inspiration isn’t there until it comes back.
What is your mixture?