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printing business cards template
It might look to be an easy step. Just open a new file and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to have a strong working name and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his composing process ~600% by creating an outline .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I was repeating the exact same procedure for every new post I work on. Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and over means that is probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for the common Ghost blog article arrangement. 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 every template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They’re just Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save them, rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each gist to view the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file on your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot point using a couple of notes about what I need to write in that segment. By 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 make them flow to each other well, because I understand the arrangement of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process became much more involved. I’d really planned to do a full rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a few hours simply to get the outline done, so I set the draft off for a different day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, and a good idea about what each segment would contain and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow in the article. Though outlining took more than normal, drafting took time since I had set myself up for success. 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 was quite a different process to the way I normally work, and I had been tempted a couple of times to avoid the extra research or thinking necessary to complete the outline properly. I often put off these things until I’m drafting, and that’s when I should be focused on writing rather. I stuck to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I had.
I have actually overhauled my outline and research procedure by using this template. It is a more productive part of the process now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, also.
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