I have been studying St. John’s major works and been inspired by his synthesis of his material. I was at the same time interested to read in Fr Crysogono how John worked on small sections independently before uniting them into a major work.
“His major works, then, were a gradual development. They were preceded by small fragments which developed into chapters. It should be remarked, however, that these first writings already have a definite character about them. When the author gave shape to the greatest of his works–the Ascent of Mount Carmel–they were to pass into it textually, without emendation or redrafting. It can be seen that his system was already mature.” (The Life of St. John of the Cross, pp.222-223).
This gives us insight into John’s daily reflection, his constant thinking about his directees, and his ongoing maturing of his thought.