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general cover letter template
It might seem to be a simple step. Simply open a new document and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to have a strong 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 .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the same procedure for every new article I work . Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and over means that’s probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for my most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John constructions his posts, and another according to 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 , rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click the”view raw” link to the bottom of every gist to view the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file in your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point using a few notes about what I should write in that section. 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 enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow to each other well, because 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 complete rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a few hours simply to have the outline done, so I set the draft off for a different day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, and a solid idea about what each segment would comprise and how they would work together to create a sense of flow in the article. Though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took less time since I had put myself up for success. 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 had been tempted a few times to prevent the extra research or thinking necessary to complete the outline correctly. I frequently put these things off until I’m drafting, and that’s when I must be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and research process by applying this template. It’s a more effective part of the process now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better work, too.
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