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movie night invite template
It might look like an easy step. Just open a new document and start typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to get a strong working title and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could accelerate 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 single new post I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and over means that’s probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I began by creating a template for the common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, 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’re just Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save them, rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to compose. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of each gist to view the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file on your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot line with a couple of notes about what I need to write in that segment. From the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other well, since I know the arrangement of the entire piece in advance.
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 few hours just to get the outline done, so I set off the draft for a different day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a good idea of what each section would comprise and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow in the post. Even though outlining took more than normal, drafting took less time because I had set myself up for victory. Composing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or two.
It was quite a different procedure to the way I normally work, and I was tempted a few times to avoid the extra research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline correctly. I often put off these things till I am drafting, and that’s when I should 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’ve actually overhauled my outline and study procedure by using this template. It’s a more effective part of the procedure now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, too.