Kris's comment, however, put it all into perspective: no matter the journey you take or the one you think will be best for you, the very most important part is to write a damn good book. Whether or not you plan to get an agent, self-pub, or take over the world, those dreams are irrelevant if the work you put out sucks.
That doesn't sound very motivational, does it? Maybe it would help to know that I am writing this post to myself and that I find motivation is the strangest places. The same can be said about inspiration.
Here's the motivation: surround yourself with people who care and who know what the hell they are talking about. Use those people to the fullest and give back at every possible opportunity. I am already surrounded by writers who have raised me to levels I used to dream of. I could name the names, but it would take forever and in some cases, those connections are just between me and the author. I think that's how it should be. My journey.
At one point in time, not that long ago, I wanted to flaunt my journey. I wanted the most blog followers and the nicest looking blog. And hey, I kinda had both for about a month (circa March 2010), but it had nothing to do with my writing journey. I am pleasantly relieved to have gotten over that phase right away.
In the year and more since, I have grown leaps and bounds with my writing. I still cringe when other writers ask what I am working on or what I write (I usually respond honestly, "What don't I write"). I cringe even more when non-writers ask the same questions. I don't cringe on purpose, I do so because I have yet to try something else. I am a creature of habit.
Being habitually uncomfortable, I have yet to be comfortable with my writing. I have yet to accept that I have a large number of unfinished novels and picture books that are full of truly fantastic ideas, and that it's okay that they are incomplete. Here's the big one: I have yet to accept that fact that it is more than okay that I don't have perfect grammar and spelling skills, but that my writing is still phenomenal.
I can't straight out tell my crit partners that I think them liars. It's me, not them; I do not believe in my writing. But, again...that's okay because my writing believes in me.
But, of course, it's still important to actually write. To write for you, for me, and for those who I will one day meet.