We've all been there. The literary industry is a tough business to break into--that is, if your only goal is to publish. There is nothing wrong with wanting to publish your work. I'm right there with you; I would like to publish my manuscript. I've had a one track mind for the past few months. I worked so hard on my manuscript that (under the guise of wanting to publish the first before writing the second) I doubted my ability to write another book. Friends, family, and Figment followers (the online writing community I'm apart of) have told me they love my book, the characters are compelling, the plot is interesting etc. Receiving feedback like that from about a hundred people (both family/friends and unbiased reviewers) should have been enough to set aside my doubts. However, doubt is a powerful motivator.
Doubt causes inaction. Questions like : 'Why did I think I could do this? What makes me the right person to write this novel?' start to swell over you. The thing is: if you doubt yourself too much to try, then you have already failed. You only fail when you stop trying your best. Doubting yourself and your abilities is never going to get you anywhere. Be confident in your abilities. Doubt will keep you from writing and if you don't write you won't improve. Your work might not be ready to be published or even ready for human consumption (outside of review groups), but that isn't failure. That is a sign that you need to believe in yourself and continue writing. Don't give up, have faith that you will improve!
Have you struggled with doubt? Tell me your success (or your fall-on-your-face-failture if you like) stories in the comments!