Our goal is to refine the creative process for writers. That process can be messy, and it probably should be. Great writing should take effort, but no more than neccessary.
Part of the reason writing can be messy is because the thoughts and ideas and knowledge that goes into our writing comes to us in a number of ways, at different times.
A lot of it comes when you sit down to write, of course. But sometimes ideas come to you while you're reading a book, or visiting a website, or having a discussion. Sometimes ideas strike when we're doing absolutely nothing.
It involves collecting ideas and references like we mentioned. But it also it involves learning, exploring and researching. It involves delving deep into threads of information.
It involves unrestrained brain-dumps, without fear of spitting out bad ideas, so that amongst them you'll find the great ones.
Then you bring all those thoughts and ideas and references and information together and reconstruct them into words.
You then craft those words into clear, expressive sentences. You iterate and refine until you have a gem worthy to publish.