Do I write to master the skills and concepts of writing as an art form (or do I write stories to explain experienced emotions)?

Great stories are dramatically constructed art forms—a sculpture in words—that produce enlightened change in characters and readers.  Stories are not beautiful descriptions of abstractions lived, such as love, hate, revenge or jealousy.  And stories are not created to purge the author of an emotional or intellectual crisis.

Do I strive to tell a creative fictional story based on imagination (or am I writing a memoir or biography)?

The memoir is a popular and legitimate form of writing.  But writing a memoir requires skills that often conflict with imaginative fiction.  Adherence to the truth of what happened and the belief that a story based on a true story is equal or superior to the created fictional story, are destructive attitudes for the fiction writer.  Most great stories are not just told from life; great stories are ideas (that may be stimulated by life) successfully expressed by creating dramatic (and significant) series of fictional events.

Do I write for creative excellence (or for fame)?

All authors want recognition for their work.  But that recognition should be for writing stories that entertain and enlighten.  Desire for fame as an author that comes from marketing and self-promotion imposes restrictions on creation of a great story.  Writing a story is a selfless process, and above all, poor writing should not be promoted to the uninformed as worthy.

Do I write to provide meaning through entertainment and enlightenment (or to persuade to some presumption)?

To persuade a reader to a preset opinion does not support the creation of a great story.  Authors enlighten about human nature; essayists, editorialists, and columnists persuade readers to opinions.  Fiction authors who insert unrelated opinion in their stories face the danger of propaganda (deceptive or distorted information often about policy, ideas, doctrines or causes).

Do I rewrite to improve my creative story skills (or do I revise to transform my prose into obscure text with an intellectually intense meaning)?

Stories fail because of ineffective characterization or incredible conflicts and actions.  Stories rarely fail because the prose is not fancy enough.  Yet most authors revise through prose adjustment in style and craft when valuable revision really comes from structural adjustment, clarity of intent and idea change.