My students assume that when well-respected writers sit down to write their books, they know pretty much what is going to happen because they’ve outlined most of the plot, and this is why their books turn out so beautifully and why their lives are so easy and joyful, their self-esteem so great, their childlike senses of trust and wonder so intact. Well, I do not know anyone fitting this description at all. Everyone I know flails around, kvetching and growing despondent, on the way to finding a plot and structure that work.
Anne Lamott, quoted in The Beautiful Cure: The Revolution in Immunology and What It Means for Your Health by Daniel M. Davis. The passage is originally from Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.
Even so, I find it nearly impossible to imagine writers such as Arthur Conan Doyle, Balzac, Derek Raymond, Ken Bruen, Harlan Ellison, and some others ever flailing.