Courageous! Who, me?
Matisse was right, you know. Creativity does take courage. I think of the impressionists and the ridicule they faced as they broke away from the traditional style of the Old Masters. Keep in mind that many of the painters, like Van Gogh, whose works now sell for millions, could barely sell enough paintings to buy food and heat their tiny living spaces. Remember that J.K. Rowling's wildly popular "Harry Potter" series was rejected by several publishers before finally landing on the desk of a man with vision.
If you, like me, depend on your creativity for your livelihood, you put your heart out there for people, those educated in your field and lay people alike, to judge, criticize, and, maybe even praise. It's not easy. It's downright scary. Keep Mark Twain's words in mind as you venture into the unknown: "“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.”