I saw a great post this week on Brenda Kezar's blog called "Even Horror Writers Get Scared...Of Writing." Brenda also linked to a post called Writing Terrors by author Mayra Calvani.
I found both posts so helpful, as it's great to know I'm not the only one who struggles with these kinds of fears. I can elevate self-doubt to an art form, in fact it probably beats procrastination as my greatest skill. The "inner critic" that Brenda mentions is a constant companion for me, no matter how many times I try to banish her.
I also connected with the comments of those who said they feared others would discover they were a "fraud," or not good enough. It sounds as if lots of writers have these same nagging voices in their heads. I know when I started writing for Best Friends, even though I was only working as a volunteer, I was almost afraid to send my first article to the editor for fear I would be exposed as a fraud. When I did send the article, I stared at her reply for a few minutes, afraid to open the e-mail. I was sure I'd be told that even as a volunteer, there was no way I could write for a website.
It was silly, and I can laugh at those fears now, especially considering what a wonderful experience I've had working with Best Friends and that editor. But whenever I send a query or submit a story somewhere, I seem to have the same fears running through my head.
I guess the key is to keep writing and submitting in spite of those fears and nagging voices. I do wonder though if I will ever be able to get that inner critic to go away. I doubt it, but I'm glad to know that at least I'm not alone!