Disregard the myth that the writing should be its own reward. You don’t have that kind of time. You’ve been working at writing since your teens and you have gotten a lot better over the years.
You need only crane your neck to take a good look at your twenties to to see the result of that elitism: Writing in creative bursts with heaps of I-haven’t-been-writing melancholy in between. You had more time then, but you wrote less. You wrote less because you believed writing either happened or it didn’t. When it happened, you called it inspiration. When it didn’t, you called it “writer’s block”.
As you’ve gotten closer to death, you’ve realized that perhaps writing requires more initiative than that from you. You’ve realized that setting small and large goals helps make the writing happen. You’ve realized there is no shame in setting a timer and competing for word count against your writer friends. You’ve realized that rewarding yourself with shoes or chocolate works and nobody cares how you got the writing done (exception: plagiarism).
You have to be tirelessly optimistic and willing to try anything that will keep your butt in the darn chair if you’re going to be a writer.
You’ve got to call yourself a writer and make writer friends. You’ve got to write your goals down. When you achieve a goal, you’ve got to celebrate it. Your work is a big deal. Don’t waste another day thinking that you don’t deserve any encouragement that works.