Mardi Gras Windsock from balloon cut out template , image source: www.freekidscrafts.com
balloon cut out template
It might look like an easy step. Just open a new file and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to get a solid working title and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he found he could speed up his writing procedure ~600 percent by creating a summary .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the exact same process for every new post I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and above means that’s probably a fantastic chance for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I began by creating 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 respect.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are only Markdown documents, so go ahead and save , 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 gist to view the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file in your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point using a couple of notes about what I should write in that section. By 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 expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow to each other well, because I know the structure of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I’d really planned to do a complete rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours simply to have the outline done, so I put the draft off for a different day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a good idea about what each section would comprise and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow from the post. Even though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took time since I had put myself up for success. Writing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different procedure to the way I normally work, and I had been tempted a couple of times to avoid the extra research or thinking required to fill out the outline properly. I frequently put off these things till I am drafting, which is when I should be centered on writing rather. I stuck to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I had.
I’ve actually coined my outline and research procedure by applying this template. It is a more productive part of the process now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, also.
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