avery 30 up from avery 30 labels template , image source: saoirse-ronan.net
avery 30 labels template
It may seem to be an easy step. Simply open a new file and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to get a solid working name and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his composing process ~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 post I work on. Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and over means that is probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for my common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John constructions his posts, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They’re only Markdown documents, so go ahead and save them, rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of every list to view the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file in your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot point using a couple of notes about what I need to write in that segment. By the time I’m 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 to each other nicely, since I understand the structure of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process became much more involved. I’d really planned to do a complete rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so I put off the draft for a different day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, and a good idea of what each segment would comprise and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow from the post. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took less time since I’d put myself up for success. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or 2.
It had been quite a different process to how I normally work, and that I was tempted a few times to avoid the extra research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline correctly. I often put off these things till I am drafting, which is when I must be centered on writing rather. I stuck to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I have actually overhauled my outline and research process by using this template. It’s a more effective part of the process now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, too.
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