I really didn't want to self-publish. But I really did want to be published.
When I lost my job and began writing seriously (spending way too much time on it probably), I started researching all the publishers I knew. But they didn't want to publish un-agented authors. So I researched all the agents I could find in the backs of books that I was reading. They didn't want to agent unpublished authors.
I didn't give up. I tried all the publishers and agents I didn't know, studied their interests, submission requirements, and even contacted them. But soon I was becoming an expert in knowing why I'd be rejected before it happened. It was kind of discouraging.
Then there were those "publishers" that require their authors to make an "investment" in their work. I was already spending too much time. Spending too much money as well didn't seem like a good option.
And then there was self-publishing.