Mental Models and Writing Habits

Yikes, it’s been another five months without a post. Well, if I want to get back in the habit of posting regularly, the only way to do it is to do it. So here I am, posting.

I’m currently reading Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg and Lauren McCann. In the first chapter, they talk about “premature optimization.” It’s the opposite of the idea of a “minimum viable product.” Your first plan likely has a lot wrong with it. So spending time alone tweaking and perfecting things likely wastes time and effort. Therefore, focus on the MVP, do the bare minimum and seek feedback early.

So why am I focusing on this idea? Because I make this mistake with my writing all the time! I’m a planner, so I love writing outlines. Perhaps a little too much. I tweak and change and reorder. And I don’t write a first draft. Even worse, I suck all the fun out of my story idea.

So what’s the answer? I need to keep my outline more of an MVP. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just enough to get me going and cover the major points: character, desire, obstacles, and ending. Then get to the draft and save those changes for editing. Hopefully, this should result in getting to the first draft sooner and remaining more excited about the story. Let’s see what happens.

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