John Steinbeck is one of my favourite authors. (“East of Eden”, “Grapes of Wrath”, and “Of Mice and Men” are some of my most-loved books.) Here’s a quote from his 1962 letter to Edith Mirrielees, his creative writing professor at Stanford:
“It is not so very hard to judge a story after it is written, but after many years, to start a story still scares me to death. I will go so far as to say that the writer who is not scared is happily unaware of the remote and tantalizing majesty of the medium. “
I’m always heartened when I learn that even my heroes got scared, even late in their career.