Even though I love to write, it is occasionally hard to be enthusiastic about it. I often tell others - and myself - that "I write for me first." Meaning that I won't stop writing even if I don't see any success from it.
This is probably even true, but lets cut the bullshit for a second, shall we? I don't know of any writers, or painters, or other creative types that really do it 'just for themselves.' Sure, some work is private. Some is meant to be therapeutic for the creator first and foremost. Deep down in every single creator's heart, though, is the hope that someone, somewhere will want to read/see/enjoy their work. All their work. Even the stuff created purely for catharsis - because we all hope that our self-therapy is powerful enough to help somebody else, too.
So it can be disheartening when you're up at 4 a.m. writing a short story after receiving three rejection letters for your novel the day before. Your work ethic makes you want to finish the story, but the growing possibility of nobody but friends and family ever seeing your work - and the sneaking realization that they're probably just humoring you - can really harsh your buzz, man.
We need a reason to put words on the page, because we already know our stories. I have stories living in my head that I've been enjoying for years, and still haven't written. I don't want to get it on paper for myself - I can enjoy it right where it is. I want to get it on paper so others can enjoy it, and so they can then tell me how awesome I am. I need that validation.
I need that hope. Which is the reason this ePublishing thing has helped my productivity so much. I know that somebody is going to read my work. I don't know who or how many. Maybe my clever title will catch the eye of someone sitting bored on a long train ride. Maybe the beautiful cover will draw someone in. Better yet, maybe the well-crafted summary and sample pages will convince someone that this story, this author, is worth trying out.