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library checkout cards template
It might look like an easy step. Just open a new file and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to have a strong working title and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could speed up his composing procedure ~600% by creating an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the exact same process for every single new article I work on. 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 some templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for my most common Ghost blog article arrangement. 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 every template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They’re just Markdown documents, so go 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 the”view raw” link on the bottom of every list to observe the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file in your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot line using a couple of notes about what I need to write in that section. From the time I’m done, I will have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it easier to enlarge 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 found that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I’d actually planned to do a full rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so I set the draft off for another day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a good idea of what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow from the article. Though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took less time since I had put myself up for success. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or 2.
It was quite a different process to the way I normally work, and I had been tempted a couple of times to prevent the extra research or thinking required to fill out the outline properly. I frequently put off these things until I am drafting, which is when I should be focused on writing instead. I adhered to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I have actually coined my outline and study process by using this template. It is a more effective part of my procedure now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, too.
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