Printer from avery return address labels template , image source: www.govgroup.com
avery return address labels template
It might look like a simple step. Simply open a new file and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to get a strong working title and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this before, after he found he could accelerate his composing process ~600% by creating a summary .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the exact same procedure for every single new article I work on. Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and above means that’s probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for the common Ghost blog post arrangement. Since that structure’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another based on a writer whose work I respect.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They’re just Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save them, rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link on the bottom of every list to observe the plain text version, which you may copy into a new file in your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot point using a few notes about what I should write in that segment. From the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it easier to enlarge my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other well, because I know the arrangement of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I’d really planned to do a complete rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours simply to have the outline done, so that I put the draft off for another day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words written in my outline, and a solid idea about what each section would contain and how they would work together to create a sense of flow in the post. Though outlining took more than normal, drafting took time because I’d set myself up for victory. 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 two.
It had been quite a different process to how I normally do the job, and that I had been tempted a few times to prevent the additional research or thinking necessary to complete the outline properly. I frequently put off these things until I am drafting, and that’s when I should be centered on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I’ve really overhauled my outline and study process by applying this template. It’s a more productive part of the process now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better work, too.
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