What it really comes down to for me is the importance of making the photograph. If the work gets seen that is a huge bonus but the most important thing is that the work is made in the first place. I believe that if you make the work and keep shooting your doing the most improtant thing. Screw 'em and keep taking pictures as 2F says, then your doing the right thing, let everything else fall into place after (many photographers are published and shown after their worm food anyway, the sad part is not creating the work during your lifetime but if you create the work and it is shown after your gone, so be it)...
the work you create is what matters.
When I was in art school there were 4 majors: illustration, design, fine arts and photography. There was a lot of rivalry and some bad-blood between people: illustrators sell their work so they're whores, photographers can't draw so they take pictures, etc, etc. It was really retarded.