I want to be one of those magical authors who turns out a perfect manuscript on the first draft.
Okay, I really don't know any magical authors who fit that bill. I just know a lot of authors who WISH they did. *-)
To me, the reason writing novels is difficult is because, to use the old cliche, you get a lot of rope with which to hang yourself. When I'm writing a book, my head is so chock full of ideas that I can hardly figure out which direction to take. There are so many options. Like a road with a thousand forks.
I churn along in a manuscript, whipping out chapter after chapter in the early going---but then I hit that ugly middle part of the novel. The part where I usually hit a plot snag. All those plot directions I had? Each one of them snares me in a box somehow. For me at least, it takes a long time to fight myself out of that corner and get back on the right road.
But I keep fighting. Because it's worth it. I know when I smash through that wall that the story is going to be so much better for it. What's more, once I smash through that wall and power through the middle of the manuscript, it will be easier to write the ending.
It will definitely be worth it when it's all said and done. In the meantime, I keep my Advil handy for those middle-of-the-novel headaches and keep pushing on. If nothing else than for the simple act of self-discovery.