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online business card template
It may seem 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 have a strong working title and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could accelerate his writing procedure ~600 percent by producing a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I was repeating the same process for every new post I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and over means that is probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for my common Ghost blog post structure. Since that structure’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John structures his articles, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are just Markdown documents, so go ahead and save , rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of each list to observe the plain text version, which you may copy into a new file on your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can begin by answering each dot point with a few notes about what I should write in that section. By the time I am done, I will have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow to each other well, since I know the structure of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process became much more involved. I had really planned to do a complete rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a few hours simply to have the outline done, so that I set the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a good idea about what each section would contain and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow from the post. Though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took less time because I had put myself up for success. Composing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different procedure to the way I normally work, and that I was tempted a few times to avoid the additional research or thinking required to fill out the outline correctly. I frequently put off these things till I’m drafting, which is when I must be focused on writing rather. I stuck to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I’ve really overhauled my outline and research process by using this template. It’s a more productive part of the procedure now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, too.
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