I alternate a lot between being pretty discouraged - it's not realistic to expect anyone to buy my book as most self published authors seem to sell about 50 copies - and being optimistic - there are people out there that do succeed and, if I can make my book good enough, maybe I can be one of them. The fact is that, at my current work rate, I'm not likely to ever replace my current salary and become a full time writer unless I hit the writing equivalent of the lottery to become the next Rowling. Right now, I stress over every word. Is that phrase perfect? Could I express that better? Is that plot point clear enough and realistic enough? It seems like some of the people who are making it in the self publishing world are doing so by quantity. Book releases sell older books. More books mean more revenue streams. I think that it's important, in learning the craft, to go through the process I'm doing now. I've learned a lot about writing by trying to achieve perfection. Once I reach a level where I can produce something that isn't total crap, however, does it pay to edit as much as I do? Would a streamlined process - rough draft -> pretty it up for the second draft -> hire a proof reader and formatter -> publish - be so much more profitable in the end? I don't think I'm to that point yet. If I'd have stopped at the 2nd draft of my current novel, I'd have put out something that I would have been embarrassed to see my name on. At what point, though, does the pursuit of quality become too much of a financial burden?