Bowie became friends with Nina Simone many years ago. She says he told her that she was a true artist (paraphrasing) because her art came first, while his own was tempered by commercial possibilities. I am a huge fan of both, and cannot agree or disagree with anything except the question posed.
For a writer, what is more important? What should be more important? The pure art? Or should the possibility of sales enter in?
An artist can work without an audience, but isn't art primarily a means of communication to others of our own perceptions and reactions to the universe around us? Or is it the externalization of one's own perceptions and reactions in the form of art enough, even if it's never seen or heard by another living soul?
This is a question I think only each artist in whatever medium can answer individually. It is important, however, I think, for the artist to make work that is accessible to others, whether the artist cares if it's ever encountered by others or not. Only in the making of accessible work do we finish the job. If we as writers ignore the need for editing, copyediting and formatting, I don't think we're finishing our work. If we don't rewrite, refine, and make a readable page, I think we're showing the world that we are not done. It may not matter whether anyone else shares one's vision, or whether one puts one's vision before the world, or even a single other, but until we have something complete and ready to present the world, we aren't done.