USPS Shipping Label from free shipping label template , image source: www.macolabels.com
free shipping label template
It might seem like an easy step. Simply open a new document and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to have a solid working title and an outline before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could speed up his composing process ~600 percent by creating an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the exact same procedure for every new post I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and above means that’s probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for my most common Ghost blog post structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They are just Markdown files, 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 write. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each list to observe the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file in your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point with a couple of notes about what I should write in that segment. From the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it easier to expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other well, since I know the structure of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I had actually planned to perform a complete rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a few hours simply to have the outline done, so that I set off the draft for a different day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a solid idea of what each segment would contain and how they would work together to create a sense of flow from the article. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took time because I’d set myself up for victory. Writing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or two.
It was quite a different procedure to how I normally work, and that I was tempted a few times to prevent the additional research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline correctly. I frequently put off these things until I’m drafting, which is when I should be focused on writing rather. I adhered to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I’ve really coined my outline and research procedure by applying this template. It is a more effective part of the procedure now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, too.
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