Writing has nothing to do with publishing. Nothing. People get totally confused about that. You write because you have to - you write because you can’t not write. The rest is show-business. I can’t state that too strongly. Just write - worry about the rest of it later, if you worry at all. What matters is what happens to you while you’re writing the story, the poem, the play. The rest is show-business.
I tell my students that when you write, you should pretend you’re writing the best letter you ever wrote to the smartest friend you have. That way, you’ll never dumb things down. You won’t have to explain things that don’t need explaining. You’ll assume an intimacy and a natural shorthand, which is good because readers are smart and don’t wish to be condescended to.
It’s a job. It’s not a hobby. You don’t write the way you build a model airplane. You have to sit down and work, to schedule your time and stick to it. Even if it’s just for an hour or so each day, you have to get a babysitter and make the time. If you’re going to make writing succeed you have to approach it as a job.
I can’t even tell you how many successful authors offer this as a piece of advice.
Writing novels is much the same. You gather up bones and make your gate, but no matter how wonderful the gate might be, that alone doesn’t make it a living breathing novel. A story is not something of this world. A real story requires a kind of magical baptism to link the world on this side with the world on the other side.