You cannot escape marketing. You can't. If you are going solo, There is no path you can take where you can dedicate all your time to development. However, I believe that if you approach this problem with the same determination you put into finishing the project, you'll find that it breaks down into smaller problems just like development does. Do your homework- pick a market and make games for it, or look at your games and figure out who they are for. Find where those people are- make personal connections with your intended audience via forums, social media, a website/blog, email list. Keep it small, keep it short, keep it good quality, keep it personal. Do it long enough, you WILL build that starting audience no matter what portal/platform you choose to go after.
Forget about revenue until you have that basic audience to sell to. You may still want to monetize from the start as a form of practice, or just so that it isn't a surprise to your audience that your products have ads/IAP But seeing actual money come out of your games will take a while- even if you pour money as well as time into it.
If you just want to make games and not deal with the long haul marketing strategy all by yourself, you will have to move and get a position at an established game dev company.
It's looking more and more like this is the reality of the situation. Though not a possibility for the immediate future because of other factors in my life, it is a medium-term goal I aim to be prepared to meet if I cannot build a profitable solo development environment.
Thanks again for all of your advice, guys. I guess I'll get to writing games so I have something to actually market.