I think it's important that artist don't get too bogged down in over-thinking things because it may impede the idea of just working through substantial material.
As artist we have to remember that art allows us to express things that we would not be able to express otherwise. Most seasoned artists have their on ideas or methods of jump starting their work these are just few steps gets me going. Find yours and work!
I not even going to address how to jump start your career! I'll leave that to the professionals.
Also, check out this video on youtube: How to Jumpstart Your Art Career: An Interview with Paul Klein.