Every book that you complete changes you; it takes a part of you out, and puts some new things into your heart.
Writing a book is like having a long-term relationship. You are with the idea of the book for a long time, and invest as much of your time and effort into it as you would a partnership with another human.
Relationships grow you, and challenge you.
Sometimes there are books that are going nowhere, and you break off work on them, because they’re a dud in the dating pool.
Following the analogy of writing books beings like romantic partners, let us speak of dating widely.
The more books you write, the more experience you gain as an author.
The more experience you have as an author, the more confidence you can bring to your writing.
Staring at the blank page when you begin your eleventh book is startlingly similar to the feeling you got when you stared at the blank page before starting your first book. Getting to know new people while dating can be intimidating, and scary. It should be a little scary, because by writing a book, and sitting down with it, you are giving the book permission to change you a little bit.
But when you are starting your eleventh book, you have ten completed novels behind you, and there is a sense of confidence, and of assurance that, however nervous you may feel NOW, at the end of a space of time you will be looking down at the first blank page before beginning your twelfth novel.
The feeling of anticipation, of not knowing what may happen next, and of danger, should never go away.
Your ability to reassure yourself, and to tackle your work regardless of nerves, should grow with each book that you write.