Have you considered the consequences of fear? Are you developing as a writer, as an artist? Milton Glaser discusses personal development, professional success and the Picasso model, all in the framework of ‘fear of failure,’ part of Berghs’ Exhibition 11 (more talks on the same at the site)
I see a connection to Kurt Busiek on the problems of relying a 3rd party such as an agent or publisher. Busiek’s talking about comics in particular, but it applies to novelists, in fact all freelancers:
“If you need to have someone lay out a set of instructions for you, you probably don’t have the skills or imagination to be a freelance writer.
Because being a freelance writer isn’t just about writing. It doesn’t have to be about drawing, too—but it absolutely isn’t just about writing. If you’re a freelance writer, you are by definition also a small businessman, running a company of one. You will be responsible for that company—you’ll have to find customers (editors, publishers), you’ll have to market yourself, you’ll have to guide your career. Nobody will do these things for you—if you depend on a publisher to do them, you will either need to be very lucky, in that your needs coincide with the publisher’s, or you will be very disappointed, when you hit a point when the publisher’s needs and yours don’t match, and they go off and serve their own and leave you in the gutter, muttering, “But I followed the rules…!”
There are no rules. There is no map.”