Found this piece written by Richard Ridley, an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor. This is not the entire piece, just the part that resonated with me.
“No one will read your books. That’s what you should tell yourself every time you sit down to write. I don’t think that’s true. In fact, I have every reason to believe that your book will be a bestseller that will break every sales record in the publishing industry. I just don’t want you to write with the reader or how many copies you will sell in mind.
If you start thinking about the reader when you write, you stop thinking about the story you’re writing. What the reader will and won’t like is irrelevant to you as a writer. Your job isn’t to conform to expectations. Your job is to set expectations. You’re own. Be bold if that’s what your story requires. Be fierce if that’s what your story requires. Even be predictable if that’s what your story requires.
It’s an old refrain of mine. You have no obligation except to those characters playing out the madness you’re dreaming up. Think of them and only them when you write. And remember, you’re not doing what’s best for them. You’re using them to fulfill the promise of your story. They are used for the good of the whole. The struggles and conflicts they face are the heartbeat that give your story life. If you construct those struggles and conflict in order to please the reader, you’re writing an uninspired story with an artificial heartbeat.
Don’t find your motivation to write to the reader. Find your inspiration to write in the story you’re creating. If you see it from this perspective, it will be a liberating moment for you as you rush to finish your first draft.