I feel like the writers who say their characters guide the writing of their own stories; that they, the writers, aren’t really in control. In the variation I worked on yesterday, I thought I was creating a noble melody with strong octave doubling between clarinet and piano. However, when I searched for an accompaniment, no noble idea came to me. After a few other ideas, the one that worked was dark and cinematic, so different from my original plan. My results were so far from my plan, that I now I feel out of control of the material, a discoverer rather than inventor. It makes me question my competence, but if the final result is good — I think it is — and it has a bit of fun in it, then I got where I wanted to go.