George Sand on Chopin’s compositional process

“His creation was spontaneous and miraculous. He found it without seeking it, without forseeing it. It came on his piano suddenly, complete, sublime, or it sang in his head during a walk when he was impatient to play it to himself. But then he began the most heart-rending labor I ever saw. It was a series of efforts, of irresolutions, and of frettings to seize again the certain details of the theme he had heard; what he had conceived as a whole he analyzed too much when wishing to write it, and his regret at never finding it again, in his opinion, clearly defined, threw him into a kind of despair. He shut himself up for whole days, weeping, walking, breaking his pens, repeated and altering a bar a hundred times, writing it and erasing it as many times, and recommencing the next day with a minute and desperate perseverance. He spent six weeks over a single page to write it at last as he had noted it down the very first.”

– George Sand