Digital LipSense Business Cards from lipsense business card template , image source: www.etsy.com
lipsense business card template
It may seem like a simple step. Just open a new document and start typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to have a solid working name and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could speed up his composing process ~600 percent by creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the exact same procedure for every single new post I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and over means that’s probably a fantastic chance for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for the most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John structures his articles, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They are only 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 compose. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of every gist to view the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file on your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can begin with answering each dot line with a couple of notes about what I should write in that section. 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 into each other well, since I know the structure of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I had really planned to perform a full rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a few hours simply to get the outline done, so that I set the draft off for another day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a solid idea about what each segment would comprise and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow from the article. Even though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took less time because I’d put myself up for victory. Writing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or 2.
It had been quite a different process to how I normally work, and I had been tempted a couple of times to avoid the extra research or thinking required to complete the outline properly. I often put these things off until I am drafting, and that’s when I should be focused on writing instead. I adhered to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I have actually overhauled my outline and research process by applying this template. It is a more productive part of my process now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better work, too.
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