First of all you need to realise that your fear is not of sending your manuscript off to agents and publishers, your fear is of having all of those agents and publishers reading your work and hating it. That is a perfectly natural thing to be afraid of.
By the time you have written your first draft, rewritten it, read it through for spelling and grammar mistakes, rewritten it again, tweaked it, polished it and given it a final read – you have put months and months of work into it. You love the stupid thing like it’s your child! And then you have to send it out there into the world to be judged by people who see thousands of other manuscripts a year and just don’t have the time to give yours a fair chance. Your months of hard work may earn thirty seconds of an editor at a publishing house’s time. They might not even get to the manuscript, they might skim your plot outline and decide that your child is not worth their time. THAT is what you’re afraid of.
To quote the great Bob Kelso from Scrubs: “Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy.”
Sometimes (most times) you have to face your fears to get anywhere. You are perfectly welcome to live your life within your comfort zone but if you do, don’t expect great things to come to you. Send that Manuscript and get working on the next thing. Expect rejection because it’s on its way, believe me, but if you’re willing to wade through a quagmire of ‘this is not for me’ for that one golden ‘I liked this, send me the full MS’ then you will get somewhere. I’m not saying you’ll be the next Stephen King but you might just hold your published novel in your hands one day – and isn’t that what every writer wants for their child?
@benjamin0liver (the o is a zero)