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daily behavior chart template
It might look to be a simple step. Just open a new file and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to get a solid working title and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could accelerate his writing process ~600% by creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the exact same procedure for every single new post I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and over means that is probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for my common Ghost blog post structure. Since that arrangement’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 what they look like. They’re only Markdown files, 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 each gist to view the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file on your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point using a few notes about what I need to write in that section. From the time I’m done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other well, since I understand the arrangement of the whole piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I had actually 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 I put off the draft for another day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a good idea about what each segment would comprise and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow from the article. Even though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took time since I had set myself up for success. Composing 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 was quite a different procedure to the way I normally do the job, and that I was tempted a couple of times to avoid the extra research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline properly. I often put off these things until I am drafting, which is when I should be focused on writing rather. I stuck to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and study procedure by using this template. It is a more effective part of my process now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, also.
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