As one of the members of your group, I am particularly interested in what you had to say, and have been mulling these issues over myself. I think the discussion inspired me to just write - for myself and see what happens. I've been too hung up on the notion that I can and must get published - the traditional way - and make some money at it. I've also been too wary of people's criticisms (particularly my family) and seeming disinterest in my works by my so-called, friends. I just have to write what and how I want and see what develops from it.
As I wrote in my writing journal the other day:
Maybe I should just tackle it – write stuff, and see what comes out – have fun with it, and see if anything is worth showing and/or submitting, not the other way around. Perhaps I am too hung up on the publishing, prize, pay combination, which is prohibiting me from unleashing passion. The “P” principles. So: Productivity + Passion + Precision + Persistence = Prize, Publication, and Pay! In other words, if I do it, things will eventually work out.