— Philip Pullman English author 1946
Context: If you're going to make a living at this business - more importantly, if you're going to write anything that will last - you have to realise that a lot of the time, you're going to be writing without inspiration. The trick is to write just as well without it as with. Of course, you write less readily and fluently without it; but the interesting thing is to look at the private journals and letters of great writers and see how much of the time they just had to do without inspiration. Conrad, for example, groaned at the desperate emptiness of the pages he faced; and yet he managed to cover them. Amateurs think that if they were inspired all the time, they could be professionals. Professional know that if they relied on inspiration, they'd be amateurs.
From the Q&A section (found July 2010) http://www.philip-pullman.com/q_a.asp?offset=60