When I was first working as a full-time artist I remember really stressing over my ability to be creative. When I wasn't at work I was fretting about the next day, whether or not the divine angel of inspiration would visit me, and grant me the gift of a good idea with its flaming sword of originality. Add to that a boss that was constantly telling me I was 'artistic' but not very 'creative' and I was a bit of a mess, constantly doubting and second guessing myself. Looking back, as crazy as it sounds, I've often said that I was far less stressed at my previous job selling copiers! I was pining after something that I now realize comes with time, experience and lots of practice.
It wasn't until years later that I really gained my confidence as an artist and realized that I could create good work on a consistent basis. A large part of this realization came when I began working with other companies that affirmed what I did and were willing to pay a good wage for it. Though much of it does come down to discipline, I would also say that the environment I was working in was creating a huge mental and creative hurdle that I was unable to jump over for a long time. In an environment where people were recognized for the things they do well and encouraged to improve on the things they struggle with, rather than berated for their shortcomings, I found a great launching pad to becoming an independent contractor. Now, working remotely, only communicating through Skype and email with my clients, I'm able to get up every morning with the self-discipline to get to work and the self-confidence to create good work. Sure, inspiration still comes and goes, I still mess up and redo things, but there is a baseline that I'm aware of and able to maintain. Creativity is no longer a white rabbit, but a constant companion.