I've heard many people say that inspiration is everything. It's what takes a ho-hum story and turns it into something great. Without inspiration, the written word is nothing.
But is that true?
I admit, I've felt very inspired with some of the things I've written, and not so much with others. And it has had very varied results on both ends. I've ended up with inspired stuff that looks down-right stupid after I haven't looked at it for a few weeks and I've written some things that were "assigned" that have turned into my favorite stories.
So can an author produce something wonderful without inspiration. Yes and no. I think it depends on the person and on the piece. I personally find it very easy to work on something that someone hands me and says "here, include this this and this" (or that I assign myself). While on the other hand, I feel that much of my "aha moment" stuff is less than spectacular--not to mention harder to write. I imagine it's different for each person.
And in the end, what really matters? That you're happy with what you're producing and you can find a market for it. Or, I suppose that may vary too. After all, what is success? I imagine our definitions are all at least slightly different.