Being by nature a writer I have enjoyed my (and your) fair share of introspection. As a returned-to-the-Church Catholic I have spent my introspective moments for the past five years focused on how both my actions and my intentions appear to God and my loved ones. I have also had to take a good hard look at my innermost ugliness, my vices, and my faults.
I have many failings. I probably have a heck of a lot more than you do. But then, if you've spent as many years screwing up as I have, you may give me a run for my money. I have many failings, but (please ignore the wordplay as I struggle to be honest) only a few major weaknesses. All of my sins, my failures, my regrets come down to a few massive character flaws.
Vanity and deceit. Deceit caused by vanity. Vanity leading to deceit. Healthy imagination. Creating a social persona. Maintaining and defending said persona. These are my major flaws. (People who know me would almost certainly add others, but I have a feeling that, followed to their core, I would discover them to be due in some way to vanity and/or deceit.) So I know these things about myself, and I do my level best to keep myself from falling into my own traps.
Writing is the one area of my life where I can give these flaws full rein and not face consequences irl. My imagination is then allowed to spin the most convoluted web of organized untruths that it can conceive, and my vanity can create a Me who is not Heather. That Me lives the life that this me cannot. She is prettier than me, smarter than me, friendlier and more popular than me. She takes risks that I can't even think of without a shudder. She is powerful in all the ways that I am weak. She is an expression of my vanity.
The other, more obvious, expression of that vanity is the thought that anyone, anywhere would choose to take time out of their busy lives to read the yarns I write.
Reading may be purely voyeurism, writing pure deceit, and publishing pure vanity. I don't believe that's all they are for me, but it's only honest to admit that in a small part of my psyche, that's the truth.