Life as an artist can be difficult. It's full of disappointment, failures both perceived and real, hard work, sleepless nights, worry over choices and the future, and endless negativity surrounding your work. But don't be afraid to put yourself out there. I'm not just talking about blogging or self-publishing, either. Those can be brutal and they have their own sets of challenges, highs and lows.
I'm talking about putting your work into the hands of people who may not like it and are going to tell you, either by way of rejection letters or published reviews. "Failing" to win the contest I'm entering would be disappointing. But it's not stopping me from entering.
To be fair, I am BLOODY terrified. This is a new experience for me. And I don't know how well I'm going to do. I don't know who I'm up against, how talented they are, or even how my book will measure up against theirs. I don't even know how my writing will measure up against the scoring system. And that's one of the biggest reasons I'm entering AND paying extra to get the writing critiqued.
Aside from sending my books out to beta readers and agents, this is the most real-world exposure my writing will have gotten. And, again, I am afraid. But I'm not, if that makes sense.