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That's a great point...I don't really know what the best mindset to have is. I've benefited from being in the photojournalistic mindset so that, if anything, photos serve a purpose, such as illustrating a news event. That alone can make it "good" (as many Pulitzer/World Press photos may seem average in the technical department). More importantly, I think having this sensibility makes you think of an audience, not just what you think is aesthetically appealing.

So I definitely do care what others think. But I think I lucked out by getting enough validation to get past the apathy. At least I've realized it's not just skill or technical merit in terms of getting noticed: much of it is just plain luck.

On a sidenote, participating in photosharing across Flickr and Tumblr has really helped destroy any solipsism I might have had...If attention/validation is something you care about, you have to work to get it like any other of the anonymous people on the Internet. This is not a mindset that most journalists realize when they try striking it on their own, without a masthead to tie their name to.

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