If there's one thing most writers agree upon, it's the fact that creating something original is hard, but choosing to unleash it into big, wide world is even harder.
In fact, it's scary as hell.
So many aspiring authors tell me they've been writing a book for many years but they're 'still tinkering with it', or they're wondering whether they should go back and do another creative writing course 'just to be sure'. The polite answer is, of course, that you must do whatever you feel is best. The honest answer is that, sometimes, you need to just bite the bullet.
It's not easy to stick your neck out because, ultimately, we are all afraid of rejection - whether by an industry professional or, more importantly, by a reader. We all want our work to be enjoyed but remember you will never be able to please everybody and, so long as you accept this from the outset, the process of releasing your work for public consumption will be that much easier.
Even a book that is bestselling or widely enjoyed will always suffer from one or two negative reviews and that's OK - useful critique in the form of reviews can be an invaluable tool, helping you to hone your craft and become a better writer. Tempting though it is to wrap yourself in a cocoon or to speak only to people who love your work, it won't allow you to move forward.
The beauty of the publishing world today is that there are so many options. In the old days, a small group of industry pundits were the gatekeepers to a career in writing and, due to constraints on their resources, they were only able to accept a small minority. That, in turn, made for a more limited pool of new literature available to readers. Thankfully, the options are much broader nowadays. If, like me, you prefer to remain in control of the creative and economic sides to your writing business, you can think about self-publishing. So many hugely popular and successful writers have realised their dreams through platforms like Amazon KDP and there are some 'hybrid' writers who choose to publish their work 'traditionally' as well as independently.
Whilst it is always advisable to take a professional approach to independent publishing to produce a quality book people will want to read (hire an editor, cover designer, proofreader etc.) the bottom line is that there are no limitations on how and when you can choose to make the final leap.
What are you waiting for?