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make your own cookbook template
It might seem to be an easy step. Simply open a new document and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to get a strong working name and an outline before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could accelerate his composing process ~600 percent by creating a summary .
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 on. Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and above means that’s probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I began by creating a template for the most common Ghost blog post structure. Since that structure’s particular to mepersonally, I also created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve made a gist to show you 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 are ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link on the bottom of each gist to observe the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file on your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point with a few notes about what I should write in that section. From the time I am 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 cause them to flow to each other well, since I know the structure of the whole piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became more involved. I’d really planned to perform a full rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours just to have the outline done, so that I put off the draft for a different day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a solid idea of what each section would contain and how they would work together to create a sense of flow from the post. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took time because I’d set myself up for victory. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different procedure to the way I normally do the job, and I had been tempted a couple of times to avoid the extra research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline correctly. I frequently put these things off until I am drafting, which is when I should be centered on writing instead. I adhered to it, though, and from 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 effective part of my procedure now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, too.
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