In Loving Memory Funeral Pamphlets from in memory of template , image source: www.funeralpamphlets.com
in memory of template
It might seem to be an easy step. Just open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to get a strong working title and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could accelerate his writing procedure ~600% by creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the same process for every single new article I work . Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the 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 began by developing a template for my common Ghost blog article arrangement. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John structures his articles, 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 only Markdown documents, so go 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 on the bottom of each gist to observe the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file on your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can begin with answering each dot line using a few 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 to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other nicely, since I understand the arrangement of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I had really planned to perform a full rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours simply to have the outline done, so I put the draft off for a different day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a good idea of what each section would contain and how they would work together to create a sense of flow in the article. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took time since 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 it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different process to how I normally do the job, and that I had been tempted a couple of times to avoid the additional research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline properly. I often put off these things till I am drafting, which is when I must be focused on writing rather. I adhered to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I have really coined my outline and research process by using this template. It is a more productive part of my procedure now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, also.
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