Background: According to my resume I'm supposed to be pretty good at programming. I've worked on a ton of big projects at big companies over many years. When I go for an interview and someone looks at my resume they immediately assume I really know what I'm talking about. I generally communicate well, present myself well, know the 'jargon' and know a lot about technology at a high level, which makes matters worse because after talking to me for a while an interviewer really believes that what my resume says is probably true.
The Problem: The problem arises when someone asks me to code something. I choke. As a programmer I have almost no capacity to come up with creative solutions of my own. I can't think through solutions to a programming problem the way good programmers are usually able to. I read questions on StackOverflow and the answer is obvious to me after I read other people's answers but if I am the first person to look at a question with no hints from anyone else I usually don't know where to start. At work it's the same thing. I'm fine if I'm correcting other people's code. I can identify the source of a bug quicker than anyone I work with. But if you ask me to sit down and code up a new application from scratch I will spend ten times longer than programmers who are much more junior than me.
Question: Now that I am looking for work this is raising its ugly head in interview situations and making me feel desperately that I'm in the wrong career. I don't know if this problem is incompetence, laziness or some combination of these. Does anyone have any ideas about what I might be dealing with - are there books or exercises that could help me with this basic problem?