NYCEM munity Emergency Planning Toolkit from emergency preparedness plan template , image source: www1.nyc.gov
emergency preparedness plan template
It may seem like a simple step. Simply open a new document and start typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to have 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 realized I was repeating the exact same procedure for every new article I work . Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and above means that’s probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for my most common Ghost blog article arrangement. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, 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 exactly what they look like. They’re only 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’re ready to compose. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of each gist to observe the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file on your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can begin with answering each dot line using a couple of notes about what I need to write in that section. From the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other well, since I know the arrangement of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process became more involved. I’d actually planned to do a full rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a few hours simply to get the outline done, so I set off the draft for a different day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a good idea about what each section would contain and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow from the article. Even though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took time because I had put myself up for success. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or 2.
It had been quite a different procedure to how I normally work, and that I had been tempted a couple of times to prevent the additional research or thinking necessary to complete the outline properly. I frequently put off these things until I’m drafting, and that’s when I should be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I have actually coined my outline and research process by applying this template. It is a more effective part of my procedure now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better work, also.
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