I used to walk into a library when I was in grade school and look for books no one had checked out for a long time. You used to be able to do that by pulling out the little card; you could even see who else had read that book. It sounds weird, but...I would feel guilty if no one had read that book for many years and I'd check it out. Most of the time I'd try and read at least some of it, but sometimes I'd just check it out.
I liked books as a little kid and thought I might be a writer someday. I had a couple sitting on my shelf that almost acted as talismans, making me feel good seeing them there. Keeping me company.
Later when the town had a used bookstore, I'd look at all the books there. I'd think of all the people who spent years of their lives, represented by each book, hundreds, thousands of books. And each author poured their guts and souls into books...that no one wanted anymore. Rotting books, sitting on a shelf. Like so many stacked tombstones.
I have boxes and boxes of books that are in storage, piled in my house. I cannot bear to part with them.
I think we write because of a lot of things. Thinking that's the way to leave something of us on earth after we die. To be validated by others, and seek others who think like us, at least a little, and so we don't feel as alone. Sure, making a living would be great, and getting rich even better. But that isn't realistic is it.
Maybe we just gotta write the way we live. We write, we don't know where the ripples go, if there are any at all. We live, seeking meaning however we find it, in the moment, in kids, in a good party, in how much money we make or business we build. Of course, 99 percent of the time, whatever we do disappears in our lifetime or soon after. That goes for our writing too, whether it disappears in a blog archive or a used bookstore.
But you don't just stop breathing, and you don't just stop writing, if that's how you are made.