Day 28: What is the MVP (minimum viable product) version of your manuscript?

This post is from the 30-day reflective writing series I made for Academic Writing Month (November 2018). For background on the series and links to all the videos, visit this page. To turn on subtitles: On a computer, hover at the bottom of the video window to make the row of icons appear; click on the “settings” icon (which looks like a cog), and select “Subtitles.” On a phone, the “subtitles” icon is in the bottom right corner of the screen.


  • In the entrepreneurial world, the term MVP refers to a “minimum viable product,” the simplest possible functional version of a product, which can be released in all its imperfection and iterated based on feedback. Rather than labor over trying to make a product perfect and complete before release, companies can release an MVP to keep the development process moving.

  • Applying this concept to your own project, imagine the simplest possible functional version of your manuscript. If you were to let go of some of the complexities and grander ambitions of the project, what would that look like? Could the manuscript still get the job done? (I suggest a slightly ridiculous desert island writing retreat thought experiment.)

  • The intent behind this question is not to be reductive or simplistic, but rather to consider how we might simplify the inherently complex task in front of us and give ourselves permission to think pragmatically about bringing our projects to a point of relinquishment. No manuscript becomes every single thing we had ever dreamed it could be.

Posted on November 27, 2018 and filed under #AcWriMo, reflection questions.