From the desk of Santa Claus stationary by Daniel Retberg from letter from santa claus template , image source: www.teacherspayteachers.com
letter from santa claus template
It might seem to be a simple step. Simply open a new file and start typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to get a solid working title and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could speed up his writing process ~600 percent by producing a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the same process for every new post I work . Like any good 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 some templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for the common Ghost blog article arrangement. Since that structure’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are just Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save , rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link on the bottom of every list to view the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file on your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can begin by answering each dot line using 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 finished piece will look like. This should make it easier to expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other nicely, because I understand the structure of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became more involved. I had really planned to do a complete rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so that I set off the draft for a different day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a solid idea about what each section would contain and how they would work together to create a sense of flow in the post. Even though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took time because I’d set myself up for success. Composing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or 2.
It was quite a different process to the way I normally do the job, and that I was tempted a couple of times to prevent the extra research or thinking necessary to complete the outline properly. I frequently put these things off till I am drafting, which is when I must be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I have actually overhauled my outline and research process by applying this template. It’s a more productive part of my process now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, too.
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