Bernard Malamud's writer/psychotherapist daughter has written a very insightful piece on what stops people from writing or, for that matter, from other imaginative, self-expressive projects. I hesitate to use the word "creative" after reading what she has to say about it.
Janna Malamud Smith draws from her new book, An Absorbing Errand: How Artists and Craftsmen Make Their Way to Creative Mastery, which advances the idea that, simply put, people give up "because they trip over unconscious fears that lie like rakes across their paths, and they go splat, and it feels awful, and they figure the game’s up, and that they have no talent or they’re not 'creative' enough."
Her post on Writersdigest.com convincingly summarizes three fears: of being seen, being humiliated, being alone. She argues that these very fears can be turned into fuel for doing the work.
If you get to the book before I do, please let us know here what you think. Thanks.