I always thought that inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. You sign onto a process and see where it takes you. You don't have to invent the wheel every day. Today you'll do what you did yesterday and tomorrow you'll do what you did today. Eventually you'll get somewhere. Every great idea I ever had grew out of work itself. If you’re going to wait a around for the clouds to open up and lightning to strike you in the brain you’re not going to make an awful lot of work.
which, perhaps, makes it clear that he's not talking about quite the same thing I am about to. Still, I think inspiration is indeed for professionals.
What I mean by inspiration is really the wideest, most generous definition. What I mean is, perhaps, arriving at a solution which was not at all obvious beforehand, but which is obviously correct afterwards. Consider a very mundane professional chore. Perhaps you're shooting pictures of hand tools for a catalog. Perhaps next up is a #2 philips screwdriver. Now, you could just take a picture of a screwdriver. Bad news, bub, anyone can do that. You're out of a job.
Suppose instead that out of the 100 or 200 more or less reasonable possible pictures of a #2 philips that one could take, after talking to the client, looking at the tool, and thinking about it, it occurs to you that this particular picture, let's say number 79, is the right one for the catalog. Stylistically you can use the same sort of thing for all the tools, and it promotes the right sort of idea. The client, ideally, will begin with "look, just pictures of tools" but will then talk about the company values, the durability of the tools (or how inexpensive they are, or how well made, or, or, or). They'll look at your test shot of number 79 and will say "aha, yes. yes."
That's inspiration. Sure, you're not inventing a new lighting method, you're not inventing a new way to think about photography. But you are arriving at an answer, a way to approach this shoot, that is obviously the right answer.