The Pink Highlighter from 30 day calendar template , image source: thepinkhighlighter.blogspot.com
30 day calendar template
It might look to be a simple step. Just open a new document and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to get a solid working name and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could accelerate his writing procedure ~600 percent by producing a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I was repeating the same process for every new article I work . Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and above means that is probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for my most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John structures his articles, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They are only Markdown documents, so go ahead and save , rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of every list to view the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file on your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point with a couple of notes about what I need to write in that section. From the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it easier to enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other well, because I know the structure of the whole piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became more involved. I’d actually planned to perform a complete rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours simply to get the outline done, so that I set the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a good idea of what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow in the article. Even though outlining took more than normal, drafting took time because I had set myself up for success. Composing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or 2.
It had been quite a different process to the way I normally do the job, and that I was tempted a couple of times to prevent the extra research or thinking required to complete the outline properly. I frequently put off these things till I am drafting, which is when I must be focused on writing rather. I adhered to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I have actually coined my outline and research process by using this template. It’s a more effective part of the process now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, too.
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