Birthday card ts on white background half fold from half fold greeting card template , image source: templates.office.com
half fold greeting card template
It may look like an easy step. Simply open a new document and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to get a strong working title and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could accelerate his writing process ~600% by creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the same process for every new article I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a fantastic chance for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for the 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 admire.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are just Markdown files, so go ahead and save , rename them if you prefer, 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 can copy into a new file on your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot line with a couple of notes about what I need to write in that segment. From the time I’m 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 to each other nicely, because I understand the arrangement of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I’d actually planned to do a complete rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours simply to get the outline done, so I put the draft off for another day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a good idea about what each section would comprise and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow in the post. Even though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took less time since I had put myself up for victory. Writing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different process to the way I normally do the job, and I was tempted a few times to avoid the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline properly. I frequently put these things off till I am drafting, which is when I must be centered on writing rather. I stuck to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and research procedure by applying this template. It is a more effective part of the process now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, also.
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