Art by Stephen E. Fabian http://www.stephenfabian.com

The artist (i.e. writer) must please himself/herself first and foremost. His creation must meet his own personal aesthetic values because they are what defines him. If an artist’s work does not enjoy universal acclaim, it’s not because he has failed in some way. It’s because his own sense of artistic value diverges (often greatly) from what the bulk of the public accepts.

Those artists who have never been drawn to what is “popular” or “acclaimed” by the masses will likely never produce something that meets the expectations of the masses. 

Those works of art that do achieve mass acceptance or acclaim are seized by a force that is far beyond the artist’s ability to control.

An artist’s first and foremost duty is to himself. There is nothing more important than following your own vision and bringing it to life as accurately and faithfully as you can. Nothing.