"His creation was spontaneous, miraculous.
He found her without looking for her, without foreseeing her.
It came to his piano, sudden, complete, sublime, or it sang in his head during a walk, and he was in a hurry to make himself hear it by throwing it on the instrument.
But then began the most heartbreaking labor I had ever witnessed. It was a series of efforts, irresolution and impatience to recapture certain details of the theme of his audition: what he had conceived all in one piece, he analyzed too much in wanting to write it, and his regret at not finding him clean, according to him, threw him into a sort of despair.
He shut himself up in his room for whole days, weeping, walking, breaking his pens, repeating and changing a measure a hundred times, writing it down and erasing it as many times, and starting again the next day with minute and desperate perseverance.
He spent six weeks on a page to come back to writing it as he had traced it on the first draft.
I had long had the influence to make him consent to trust this first spurt of inspiration."
George Sand "Story of my life" (Part 5, Chapter XIII)