Blank Playing Card Template from deck of cards template , image source: www.timvandevall.com
deck of cards template
It might look to be an easy step. Just open a new document and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to have a strong working name and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could speed up his writing procedure ~600 percent by producing an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the exact same process for every single new post I work . Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and over means that is probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for the common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are just Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save them, rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each list to observe the plain text version, which you may copy into a new file on your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can begin with answering each dot point using a few notes about what I need to write in that section. From the time I am done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it simpler to enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other nicely, because I know the arrangement of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I’d actually planned to do a complete rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours just to have the outline done, so I set off the draft for another day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a solid idea of what each section would contain and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow from the article. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took less time since I had set myself up for victory. Writing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it 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 complete the outline correctly. I often put off these things till I am drafting, which is when I must be centered on writing instead. I adhered to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I have really overhauled my outline and study procedure by applying this template. It’s a more productive part of the process now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, too.
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