Many articles about writing give a quick mention to the element of fear involved in submitting your work for publication or to a contest. They gloss over it and move on. But that fear is pretty big with some people.
What is there to fear? Let's look at a few possibilities.
1. Fear of rejection: It's probably the biggest monster We work hard writing a story, essay, article or poem. The words are ours alone and they're rather precious to us. We feel like we're sending a tiny child out into the world alone when we submit our work to an editor. What will happen to my little baby? we ask ourselves. Will it meet up with a kind person or a curmudgeon? Will it be accepted or thrown back into the sea of submissions that didn't make it? It's not foolish to feel this way. We all do to a certain extent but like everything, there are varying degrees. Don't make yourself sick with worry over it. Once we accept that rejection is part of the writing world and that the rejection is not against you personally, we can usually deal with this fear.
2. Fear of success: Sounds silly, but it's a real fear. Once the thrill of having a book published is past, the writer might start thinking about the great expectations that her editors and/or readers have. They want to read another book she writes. But what if the second book isn't as good? What if she can't even produce a second book, let alone a third and fourth? If you write personal esays that have been published, you want to be able to come up with more but to find a new subject and then write with the same expertise is not always a piece of cake. Writers are individuals so some will never even think about this situation, but there are those who will suffer greatly with this fear.
3. Fear of the limelight: If you have a successful book or become known for your anthology stories or essays, you may be asked to help promote the books by appearing on TV interviews, radio shows, book signings and perhaps even to speak at various organizations. If you're an outgoing person, this is probably not a problem, but if you happen to be one of those people who prefers sitting alone at the computer and writing, it could be agony.
The poster above suggests you find the courage to move forward, and I will second that. Wouldn't it be nice if you could run to Walmart and purchase about a poind of courage? Well, you can't but you can reach deep within yourself and find it in bits and pieces. Each time you use a little of that courage and move forward, you will definitely find more joy in your life. And every time you use that courage to help conquer a part of whatever fear you're dealing with in your writing life, it will be easier to meet that fear headon the next time.
No one conquers fear in one fell swoop. Take it a little at a time. Set small goals for yourself and add a new goal each time the earlier one is met. I'm willing to bet that some of the big names in the book world have had these same fears in their writing careers but they've met those fears and continued to succeed.