As for #1, did you know about https://answerthepublic.com ?
For #2, I actually publish pieces that are not my best on a regular basis. The simple reason is that it’s hard for me to keep my motivation if I need to write “best” every time. For every “best” article I publish, I publish two smaller, less crafted stories. For me, keeping the habit of writing is more important than perfection. I can’t sustain perfection.