I write four days a week, the other three I write code. Not a bad split, right? Still, I’m not making enough progress on my novel. It’s like cutting down a tree with a butter knife. Wood chips on the ground show effort, but the thick trunk looks barely scratched. Why can’t I write faster, more or better? At the end of the day, what I really want to know is: Am I making progress?
Sometimes I start with the goal, a novel, and make a chain of tasks needed to reach that goal. Then, I find the link closest to the goal that I can accomplish now. A theme needs a novel, a novel needs a story, a story needs a plot, a plot needs characters, characters need problems, problems need context, context needs history, history needs outlining. Can I write the story right now? No. I don’t know enough about the plot. Can I write the plot? No, I need to know more about what motivates it. My version of the Snowflake Method.