List References Template from list of references template , image source: e-commercewordpress.com
list of references template
It might look like a simple step. Simply open a new document and start 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 too much. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could accelerate his writing procedure ~600% by producing an outline .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the same process for every new article I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and above means that is probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for the common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John constructions his posts, and another based on a writer whose work I respect.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They’re 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 are ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link on the bottom of every gist to view the plain text version, which you may copy into a new file in your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can begin with answering each dot line using a few notes about what I should write in that section. From the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it easier to enlarge my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other nicely, since I understand the structure of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process became more involved. I’d really planned to perform a full rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours simply to have the outline done, so I put the draft off for another day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a good idea of what each section would comprise and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow in the post. Even though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took less time since I had put myself up for victory. Composing 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 was quite a different procedure to the way I normally work, and that I was tempted a couple of times to prevent the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. I frequently put these things off till I am drafting, which is when I must be centered on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I have really coined my outline and research procedure by applying this template. It is a more productive part of my process now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, also.
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