I've been at this for years. I've written some good stuff. I've written a lot of crap, including a painfully awful first novel. I've read countless agent blogs and how-to sites for writers. I'm terrified, but I'm ready to take the next step, to go to second base, so to speak.
I'm lined up for my first writer's conference in October, at which I'm sure I will look like a complete idiot. After the conference, I'm going to take what I learn to finish editing my novel and start querying agents. I'm absolutely petrified, but the time has come for me to stop hiding behind my computer screen in the dark.
I'm afraid my ego is too big and my common sense too small, but I hope that good things will come of it. I know publication may never happen, but it has a zero chance of happening if I don't try.