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pizza party invites template
It might seem to be a simple step. Just open a new document and start typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to get a solid working title and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his composing procedure ~600 percent by producing an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the same procedure for every single new post I work . Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and over means that’s probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for the common Ghost blog article structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John constructions his posts, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They are just Markdown documents, so go ahead and save them, 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 observe the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file in 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 segment. From the time I’m done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it easier to enlarge my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow to each other nicely, because I know the arrangement of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became much more involved. I’d actually planned to perform a complete rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a couple of 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 composed in my outline, along with a good idea of what each segment would comprise and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow in the post. Even though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took time since I had set myself up for success. Writing 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 was quite a different procedure to how I normally do the job, and I had been tempted a couple of times to prevent the extra research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. I often put these things off till I’m drafting, which is when I must be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and research procedure by using this template. It’s a more productive part of the process now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, too.
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