19 Splendorous Timeline Covers PSD Templates from facebook cover template free , image source: smashingcloud.com
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It might seem to be a simple step. Just open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to get a strong working title and an outline before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could speed up his writing process ~600 percent by producing an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the same procedure for every single new post 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 some templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for my most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I also 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 exactly what they look like. They’re only Markdown files, so go right ahead and save them, rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to compose. Click the”view raw” link to the bottom of every list to view the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file in your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot point with a couple of notes about what I should write in that segment. By the time I am done, I’ll 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 make them flow into each other nicely, since I know the arrangement of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I had actually planned to perform a full rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a few hours simply to have the outline done, so that I set the draft off for another day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a good idea of what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow in the article. Though outlining took more than usual, drafting took less time since I had put myself up for victory. Writing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or two.
It was quite a different procedure to how I normally do the job, and I was tempted a few times to prevent the extra research or thinking required to fill out the outline correctly. I frequently put off these things until I am drafting, which is when I must be focused on writing instead. I adhered to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I have really coined my outline and research process by applying this template. It is a more effective part of my procedure now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, also.
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