I sometimes believe that writing is like those natural phenomena described as sensitive to initial conditions. If a meteorologist starts with one set of conditions and feeds them into a predictive model, they conclude with a weather forecast for the coming days. If that same meteorologist begins with a set of conditions somewhere along the path of that prediction and feeds that data into the same computer program, an entirely different forecast may result. This factor makes, long range forecasting nearly impossible.
Try this experience as a writer. Pick an important sentence from one of your own essays, poems, or short stories and use it as the starting point of a new piece. Where does it end up? Is it the same story, or an entirely new creation? Of course, some readers may respond that they already knew that writing is a chaotic process, even if not in this scientific sense.
In natural systems, this phenomenon is called the “butterfly effect.” Meteorologist Edward Lorenz discovered this effect while working with predictive models. His brief biography in Britanica.com includes an animated video which gives a rapid fire, but more complete description of the phenomenon.