2 quotes from JRR Tolkien
No man can estimate what is really happening at the present sub specie aeternitatis (under the aspect of eternity). All we do know, and that to a large extent by direct experience – is that evil labors with vast power and perpetual success in vain; preparing always only the soil for unexpected good to sprout in. So it is in general and so it is in our own lives.
on The Lord Of The Rings
…of course such an overweening purpose did not develop all at once. The mere stories were the thing. They arose in my mind as “given” things, and as they came, separately, so too the links grew. An absorbing, though continually interrupted labor (especially since, even apart from the necessities of life, the mind would wing to the other pole and spend itself on linguistics): yet always I had the sense of recording what was already ‘there’ somewhere: not of inventing.