Matthew Bennardo writes from the heart when he discusses this. We all know why we write (or I hope we do; if not, stop reading and spend a few minutes soul searching, I'll wait). But why publish?
But there’s always a question in the back of my mind — why publish at all? If I write for fun, then why do I bother with this other part which is often not that much fun? Why do writers deal with the waiting, the rejection, the editorial revisions, and the minor disappointments and slights that can come even with acceptance and publication? Why do we put our stories into somebody else’s hands, knowing that we can’t always control what will happen to them?
In a long personal post he discusses his own journey from initial publication in big name magazines such as Asimov's and to the nature of short fiction published these days in non-pro magazines, culminating in some personal insights into managing reviews and dealing with rejection. 'Rejection is the expected response,' he says of all submissions, and I can only agree with him.
Usually a story appears and disappears without seeming to cause a ripple at all outside of the writer’s own social circle. It’s easy to wonder if anybody’s out there — if anybody is reading — if anybody except the editor even liked what you wrote.
I've had the pleasure of occasionally chatting to Matthew via Twitter, and I think this is a valuable article, even more so if you are a short story writer.
Read it here: http://www.mbennardo.com/blog/2012/05/why-do-we-publish/