Here's a thought to end on, though:
A couple of days ago A was talking to me about publications with audiences, and just yesterday, T told me I was on my way to becoming a writer's writer. For some reason, the two have combined in my head, and I can't shake off the belief that being a writer's writer is code for a writer without a very big audience, and thus without a lot of cash, and thus, without a Lamborghini. I think we'll all be in agreement that I deserve a shiny Lamborghini, and that most authors do, if only so they can appear on Top Gear and do that racing contest they have. But still, it got me thinking that, really, at a certain point in the 'career' of a writer, it stops being about whether you're a good writer or you're not, and instead becomes a question of what kind of audience you have. Do you have the kind that follows you just because it's a genre thing, do you have one that follows you to the point that they have an interest in your evolution as an artist, do you have a big audience that allows risks, do you have a small, but dedicated one, do you have any, do you have none, is it just your friends. The answer to all those is one each writer (or musicians, or artist, or whatever) has to give to his or herself, but there comes a point where the author has to look around at the publishers and books that they appear in and work with, and decide if these are going to help them grow the audience that they want. The work that you put out is essentially a product, after all, and you have to be able to put it in the right place for the right consumer, to use such disgusting retail terms.
The thing about this thought is, I find, that it doesn't influence the creation side of writing, but what you do with it once your finished. It can be a bit of a hassle--in fact, I know it is, especially if you feel your work is becoming more and more difficult to fit the markets you were previously interested in, which is sometimes shown by people who call you 'hard to classify'--but it's how you get the best mileage and how you grow.
I dunno, thoughts for the day. Me, I'm quite happy with the audience I have, though if you want to bring your friends with you, I won't object, because the truth is, that's the area of growth for me. But it's my concern, and no one elses, and time will tell if I can get it right.
In other news, if I may say so, BBQ Beef Fantastic Noodles are really kind of awful. Stick to the chicken or vaguely racist 'oriental' flavour while writing your blog posts.
Okay, I'm out.