So, I only got one comment on my "what's your opinion" post, but that's all right. I know a lot of you are blurkers, but I love you anyway. (I am also a terrible blurker-someone who reads blogs, but doesn't comment. I'm trying to get better about it.)
Anyway, I promised you my opinion on this subject, so here it is.
The question of why I write is an interesting one to me, because for a long time I was one of those people who thought there was no point to writing if you couldn't get published. Then, as I wrote more, and became more familiar with myself I discovered that I couldn't stop writing. It became one of the cores of my existence. I also learned how hard it is to get published, and so I stopped evaluating my writing based on that.
But I was still easily discouraged. Primarily because I thought there was no point in writing if no one ever read it. I went through a terrible period with my first novel where, out of the 15+ people who asked to read it, only 3 actually finished it. And most of the comments I got were along the lines of "it was all right", which is the worst thing in the world to say to a writer. It tells me nothing, except that my writing was bland and inspired apathy.
Needless to say, this was very depressing.
Then I had a revelation. To explain this revelation, though, I have to give you some idea of my view of the world. I believe that there are good and evil forces at war in the world. I believe that on some level we can't see and on many levels we can, good and evil are always fighting for the hearts and souls of people.
My revelation went like this: To create something beautiful with words or paint or music or clay, to create with joy and hope, is one of the most powerful and positive things that humans can do. If you create something, the very act of creating creates a positive ripple that affects the world, whether or not your creation is ever seen.
Words and art and music, they matter on such a deep level, that it doesn't really matter if no one reads the book or listens to the song. The artist forgot himself while creating, and so for a moment, selfishness, meanness and petty evil were overcome.
It is the act of creating that is important.
So that is very metaphysical, and I'm sorry if I confused you. But to me, writing is one of the things I was made to do, regardless of success.
Besides, I get really cranky when I don't write. It's good for my soul.