Free ready made plastic card template from free membership card template , image source: www.plasticcardonline.com
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It might look like a simple step. Simply open a new file and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to have a strong working title and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this before, after he found he could accelerate his writing process ~600 percent by creating an outline .
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 realized repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for my most common Ghost blog post structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John structures his articles, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They’re only Markdown documents, so go ahead and save them, rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to write. Click the”view raw” link to the bottom of every gist to observe the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file on your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can begin by answering each dot point with a few notes about what I should write in that section. By the time I’m done, I will 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 make them flow into each other well, since I understand the arrangement of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I’d actually planned to perform a complete rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours simply to have the outline done, so that I put off the draft for another day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, and a good idea of what each segment would comprise and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow from the article. 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 from the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or 2.
It was quite a different procedure to the way I normally do the job, and that I was tempted a couple of times to prevent the additional research or thinking required to fill out the outline properly. I frequently put these things off until I am drafting, and that’s when I must be centered on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and study process by using this template. It is a more effective part of the procedure now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, too.
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