I was roaming in the desert of Egypt, separated from my group. My thirst was as dry as the sand beneath my feet. Which direction should I walk toward?

I turned left and walked for 10 minutes. Nothing. I turned right and walked for another 10 minutes. Again nothing.

Panic. Sheer panic.

And then suddenly, at a distance, I saw an old man with a camel.

“I am lost,” I told him, my voice shaking. “Can you show me the way?”

“Before you sit down to write, create an outline”, he told me.

“What the hell are you talking about?” I asked.

“Before you sit down to write, create an outline. Otherwise, your writing will go all over the place. Your blog post, youtube video, and podcast episode will wander off in different directions without going anywhere. Similar to what you are doing right now. Outlining ensures that you follow one path.”

“Interesting,” I said as I rolled my eyes. “Now, can you please point me towards the right direction?”

And before I knew it, the old man and the camel had disappeared.

But the message was received. Outlining. Yes, that is what I needed to do. To create a path with guardrails so I don’t wander off in multiple directions. I got to work with a map in one hand and a compass in another.

West. That’s where I needed to go.

I started walking towards the setting Sun. One direction. No distractions. And within an hour, buildings started to emerge.