"I'll give you the whole secret to short story writing. Here it is. Rule 1: Write stories that please yourself. There is no Rule 2."
1862 - 1910
I think O. Henry's secret applies not to just to short story writing but to all the arts. The first and most important person whom you have to please is yourself. If you spend your creative time trying to please others, you may be successful in the short term, but you will fail in the long term. If you publish writing which you are not happy about, it will become apparent to your reader. If paint pictures to please others, you will not be happy. If you write poetry to make others happy, you will fail. So the message is simple: create for yourself and your audience will find you.