Not every writer cares whether he is published or not.
I do. My hope of having a published novel is what keeps me writing. But what is the right amount of hope? Hope isn't limitless, nor should it be. It has to be tempered with the right amount of realism, which sometimes sounds a lot like cynicism.
It's easy to be cynical when I see how this business chews up some writers. I've seen writers agented, unsold, then ditched. Writers with published debuts that dropped like trees in an empty forest, who then couldn't get another deal. Writers whose books were sold but who had their contracts canceled before publication. Writers who almost had deals, only to have them snatched away when the imprint closed, or their editor left the business or just changed jobs.
And those are the almost-success stories. Others don't get that far.
The more hope you have, the more crushed you are when things don't work out. But when you don't have enough, you stop.
So what's the right balance between hope and cynicism? I'm still working on it.