My grandfather took a lot of pictures in his life and for 50 or more years they remained glued to rotting paper in a flimsy, but huge, photo album. A few years ago, I took on the project of scanning, restoring and publishing these old photos as a record of his extraordinary life. The project is coming to the publishing stage and I can finally come up for air.
This is not for profit. This is not a "side hustle." The public will never see the end product. Yet, it's the most important photo project I've ever taken on. I hope it will last a few centuries within in the family and provide a great story for generations to come.
As much as I believe in sharing your work, I also believe personal, private projects hone your eye for what's really important - to you. If the public will never see it, you get to discover exactly what you want from yourself in a print or a book (hopefully your end product is analogue).
This is not a trivial thing. This is insight into what differentiates you from other artists. It's an invaluable lesson.
Did I mention, my grandfather was a badass WWII photographer?