It's more of a philosophical query, really, not doubting myself or anything. I'm pretty sure I know how to proceed with my work, it's just that I hadn't really put it into words before. It's been sort of a gut feeling all along, and as I did think about it I thought it might be interesting to explore the subject with others.
Keep doing what you're doing, Michael, if you ask me. Since you're not bothered about feeling validated anyway. To me it proves strength as a photographer, or artist of any discipline, to continue working on things that entertain only our own imagination. It means you were able to filter out the mainstream and opinions of others.
Now, I do find it rewarding to discuss my work with others, and sometimes doing so can give me great ideas of how I might like it better myself. When I apply those ideas I sometimes like it better that way, and that's pretty cool. I usually prefer to do that with folks whose opinions I value, though.