There's a fantastic book out there that I've been meaning to get, Art & Fear. It has great anecdotes and advice about making art, or Art. I have a few nonfiction books to work through, so I'm not overly concerned about getting it just yet, but the book certainly comes to mind now and again. Mainly when I'm writing stories.
It came right to the fore when I was slogging through the 30 Days Project. Hell, or hell-like. Certainly reminiscent of brimstone and repurposed Pan imagery, anyways. Because, as you'll notice, through my thirty posts (15,000+ words(!!!)), and to be fair, through almost every other participants thirty posts, there are nearly no comments. Which, I assumed, was one of the draws of the 30 Day Project. Get feedback, support, community of artists, etc.
Poor naive me of thirty plus days ago.
The whole process helped me with come up with a revelation I call "Art & Crap". Which is tangentially related to the bits of Art & Fear I've read that really rung true to me.
Art & Crap goes like this:
1) No one cares about your crap.*
2) Those who care about your crap will only care enough to tell you how crap you crap is.
3) People will genuinely care about your crap when it's too late.
4) Only you can give a crap about your crap.
Which is kinda related to this. A most excellent comment about the whole creative endeavour by one of my mostest favouritest web comics, Subnormality (the comic is easier to read when you think of it more as a blog with pictures, as opposed to a webcomic).
This rule of mine, that I made up and I'm sure is just a poor rendition of a better observation by a more learned mind is immensely helpful to me now. Waiting or hoping for feedback from people in order to keep you doing your work is the quickest way to drink or an alarming bill at the nearest transgendered clown and pony brothel.
And yet, don't you know, it's something I tend to fall in sometimes. But thankfully I have a little series of pat rules to get me out of it. They may not be entirely true, but true enough for my purposes, anyways.
*friends and family don't count, they pretty much have to either feign interest or develop a rare and temporary vision impairment.