If there is one lesson that I try and teach my students every semester, beyond the concepts and skills they need, it is that art making is work. New students often fail to understand that it takes more than a moment of inspiration and a few minutes of work to make strong art, or a strong artist. To be an artist is to undertake a consistent long-term process of work. Being and artist is being willing to put the time and energy in to fully pursue your craft. One complaint or question I get every semester, often from the most earnest students, is about what to draw every day, where do you find subject matter. And I tell them to look around, randomly open a book and find a sentence or phrase to draw, etc. But, I also tell them that what you begin drawing often matters little, for it is in the activity of making that inspiration usually arises.
Sometimes you work and occasionally feel as if you have totally forgotten how to make art at all. But then something happens, maybe just a random mark or the perfect end to a pen line, and you remember enough to get a handhold. If you recognize that moment for what it is, see it for more than a random occurrence, then you can throw what energy you have at your disposal into it before it melts away. But that is just the beginning, the real challenge is balance, maintaining urgency without becoming impatient. You have to give yourself over to the chase, to disappear into it, without worrying about the end or even sighting your quarry.
I think what beginning artists fail to realize is that not every drawing has to be finished, or should be, but every drawing contributes to some finished piece down the line. They provide valuable lessons on the way to developing skill, they allow you to clarify or reject ideas and sometimes even the quickest sketch will provide direct inspiration for later work. Every work you do, from the meanest sketch to the most polished piece, leads to and is connected to every other. As long as you are making art your work as an artist is never done and your quarry is never truly caught and that is how it should be.