Write Your Last Paragraph First

When Jerry Colonna was struggling to finish his book, his editor gave him this brilliant advice:

Write your last paragraph and then write your way to it.

We don’t have to be writing a book, that advice applies to just about anything. All it asks us to do is think about where we want to end up and then work our way backwards.

A product or service ends with an experience and starts with discovery. Map it out.

A project or campaign ends with a result and starts with a plan. Plot the steps.

A career hits a milestone with certain levels of success and starts with a set of ambitions. Draw the arc.

Figure out where you want to end up and then reverse engineer the path. It’s a Swiss Army knife of a mental model to keep handy. It makes sure the work we are putting in is in clear service to our end goal.

Write the last paragraph first. Then write your way to it.

Read Colonna’s book, “Reboot,” or see these posts derived from his work here.

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