Drive-by link to another Clarksworld article from Catherine M. Valente.
The big thing I take away from this is:
[…]When I fear for my ability to keep working in the steel town I have chosen: publication was never the point. The point was the work, the book, the voodoo, the faith. The point was the sheer joy of creating something out of nothing, crystal out of gross matter. They will never really want what I have to give. My job, insofar as I have one, is to make what I have to give glow so brightly that they cannot turn away from it.
And that’s your job, too.
My job is to put words on the page, polish them until they are as beautiful as I can make them, and send them into the world. As long as I’m doing that, I’m doing my job.
If my job generates income… well, so much the better. But my job is to write down the words.