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first communion invitations template
It might seem like a simple step. Simply open a new document and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to have a solid working title and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this before, after he found he could accelerate his composing process ~600% by creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I was repeating the same procedure for every single new article I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and above means that is probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I began by creating a template for the common Ghost blog post structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I also created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For every template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They’re only Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save , rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link on the bottom of each gist to view the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file on your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can begin by answering each dot line with a couple of notes about what I should 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 easier to enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other well, since I know the structure of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process became much more involved. I’d really planned to do a full rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours just to have the outline done, so that I put the draft off for a different day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a good idea of what each segment would comprise and how they would work together to create a sense of flow from the article. Though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took time because I had set myself up for success. Writing the draft was only 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 process to the way I normally work, and that I had been tempted a few times to prevent the additional research or thinking required to fill out the outline correctly. I frequently put these things off till I’m drafting, and that’s when I must be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I have really overhauled my outline and research procedure by applying this template. It’s a more effective part of my procedure now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better work, also.
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