I’m sorry, but what? Aren’t readers why we write? Otherwise, we could just sit at home and think.
That is an interesting question. I’m not sure the answer is that straightforward, either. There is a material difference between writing and just thinking, even if nobody else ever reads a word of what you wrote.
Another possibility is that our future selves are the readers.
Either way, the readers might be why we publish (and even that could be questioned), but we could have other motivations for writing.