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deviating from my original plan

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it did not occur to me until some time last summer that i might want other people to see the things i was writing before i was dead. the original plan was to spend as much time as possible writing, editing, compiling and organizing these things, then after i died it would be someone else's job to decide what the hell to do with it - burn it, disperse it randomly, whatever.
suddenly i went "JESUS! maybe people could read this now! what a novel, strange and insane idea!! i... i wonder if they would WANT to...."
so, i began with a few short stories i was pretty satisfied with, sending them to webzines etc., practicing dealing with rejection and ignorance and genres that make no sense. my first story was not accepted but HELD for further review - for months. i was paralyzed and unable to write until it was ultimately rejected.
eventually i became brave and started posting installments of my first piece of genre fiction on a free site. it was exhilerating and terrifying for ANYONE to be able to see these things.
so the question i put forth is....
is it worth it?
is trying to publish the written word worth the fight? was my trunk o' junk a better plan? should i go for something like createspace rather than paralyze myself with waiting for approval or disapproval? what are the pros and cons of putting thigs out in the open, and does it make any difference at all if money is involved?
please, anyone and eveyone, tell me what you've learned, are learning, and WANT to learn......