After reading over the message boards I realized there is a lot of frustration coming from new photographers who are dipping their toes into the stock pond. Take heart and make note, we all (or most of us) have been there before.
Here are a few tips to make life easier.
1. Practice. Every. Day. Practice doesn't just makes perfect, it also make you more comfortable as a photographer.The first couple I shot for engagement photos made me nervous, but the more experience I got, the easier things became. Now people are my favourite thing to shoot (as I'm sure you can see going over my portfolio). When you practice you are more likely to get creative, catch your "mistakes" and remember the "rules" of photography. You will also find your niche this way. Lighting and rule of thirds anyone?
2. Join a camera club and meet other photographers. For some reason, photography is a profession where people actually help each other. Just look at all the encouraging messages on the board here! If there is nothing in your community start one through online places such as meetup
3. Look to other sources for learning. Get a library card, join Twitter, make use of Pintrest. These places are full of inspiration to help you along the way.
4. Get into social media to "promote" yourself. Feedback (honest feedback) is important and it will help you grow as an artist.
5. Don't be discouraged if your photos get rejected. Find another use for them. I use my "rejects" for my blog and personal matters. They still receive attention.
Good luck, and above all keep going!
Follow me on twitter @angostafichuk
Or my blog at http://angelaostafichuk.wordpress.com/