Despite what Wordsworth says about thoughts that 'lie too deep for tears', I think tears are a pretty reliable indication of being in the grips of a profound experience.
Cheever constantly voiced doubts about his writing. Reading 'The Naked and the Dead' made him despair of his own 'confined talents.'
When I started writing, the deal was that publishers gave you a grand or two as an advance to buy some sweets, with the promise that they would make a big putsch with your fourth book when you'd built up a bit of a following. But by the time my fourth book came out, previously unpublished authors were the new big thing.
If you're not religious, like me, how do you explain the transformational power that certain places have? They bring an incredible degree of attention to where you are and the passage of time. You're looking at every flower twitching, wondering if it's just the breeze or some magical pulse.
There are the tears of rage when books get praised when they're so obviously garbage. But then there are so many more that continue to move me: the end of 'Paradise Lost,' 'The Ruined Cottage' by Wordsworth, Prospero's 'Our revels now are ended' speech near the end of 'The Tempest.'
I would probably, in my 60s, be ready to start having kids, as long as I was spared all the stuff about it that doesn't appeal to me. By then, I'd have lost interest in practically everything, so there'd be no opportunity cost involved.