Perhaps it's because lately I'm in a "frustrated phase" as a writer, perhaps because it's written really well and smartly, but this piece resonated with me a lot.
More often than not, I feel that validation coming from within that you're talking about. Yet, when a review or essay of mine fails to bring in the numbers I think they would deserve, I fall back into a self-loathing state, thinking, what the hell is wrong with my writing.
But, lately, I realized that maybe I'm not publishing these essays at the right place. It's not always the writer's fault if they fail - especially here on Medium. I'm not saying that improvement couldn't be done or anything, there is always a way to get better, but I'm feeling that I'm gradually improving and developing a stronger writing voice, yet the numbers and the lack of readers don't show that.
Anyway, your piece came at the right time: it's thought-provoking and interesting. Especially, your experience with being a teacher who hates teaching yet getting more and more work.
Great read, Walter.