Laboring in obscurity can be a tough gig.
If you just plug away it honestly looks to most people like you're going no where, despite what you yourself may see as progress. If what you're doing is an uphill climb anyway - even if you realize that - maybe sometimes people who should support you are really thinking "this will never work."
You make defense mechanisms like "well if it doesn't work out I had fun doing it." And while that may be true it's an obvious attempt at convincing yourself of it and everybody knows it.
And while you're in the foxhole swinging away at it every day, everything else goes on as usual all around you and before you know it days have turned into months. Months into years. And you're still not there.
I think you have to be an ornery cuss who can flick people off like a surprise snot on your shirt, just so you can get through this crap sometimes. This, of course, gets you another reputation, of the "what a cold snob that guy is" variety.
I think if the same people who look at you funny are patting others on the back for doing the same thing, then maybe it runs deeper than you thought. But you could also be just a little touchy about it.
The best thing to do is keep going, maintain your standards, and be vicious in your self-editing. What other people are doing and saying doesn't matter. Truly. Doesn't matter. You decide if you believe them or not. If you let them bring you down it's YOUR fault. Not theirs.
There's a meme going around about "who lives in your head?" And it's basically talking about modes, influences and reference points. In many ways it's neither a negative or a positive because it's like a list of personas that define your personal traits. Though I'm sure - certain in fact - that there are influences on my personality and ideas, I tried to think of some that "live in my head" but couldn't.
It's really because I'm the one who lives in my head (okay not always a good thing, I admit). I have a running conversation with myself all day long. Even when I'm sleeping. There isn't anybody else in here.
And what's scary is that yesterday I found a way to represent that in fiction without it getting all weird and confusing. My mystery achievement.
So you guys are in real big trouble now.