Let me start by saying I love writing. No matter how you approach it, that's cool. Some folks are purists, and write for the love of storytelling alone. They don't care about making money for their work, and I really respect that. They're like Jedi, protecting truth and justice throughout the writing galaxy.
I'm not like that.
I'm a Sith Lord to the purist Jedi that way. I write to get paid. My characters don't talk to me, they don't take over the story. My writing takes place whether I'm in the mood or not. I totally force art.
I don't think my writing skill wanes with my mood or the absence of my Muse. And I've proven to myself that I can write almost anywhere, under almost any conditions. If I can write in the back of a moving car in the dark, I can write just about anywhere.
And I write even when it's work.
Because make no mistake, writing IS work. Writing an entire novel is a LOT of work. And sometimes I enjoy it more than other times. But even when I'm not having a total blast writing, I'm having a better day than I am working for someone else. Getting published, especially self-published, is even more work. If you want to write for a living, you have to be ready to do the work. I'm still working on making it to the point where writing IS my living, but I'm a lot closer to that point than I've ever been in my life.
But don't think you can write only when the mood strikes you, that you can rely on a capricious Muse and still make a living as a writer. Content is king, and most readers don't care about your process. They don't care if your characters have stopped talking to you, or if your Muse has run off with your motivation to the Caribbean for a well deserved retreat. Readers want what you promised when you put out your first book: the next one. They don't buy your book simply because of your process. They buy it for a good story.
So, when you want to get published, be ready to work for it. Want to make a living at it? Fire up that red lightsaber and chuck the romantic notions out the window.
Welcome to the dark side.