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restaurant menu template word
It may seem like an easy step. Just open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to have a solid working title and an outline before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could accelerate his composing process ~600% by producing an outline .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the exact same process for every single new post I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and above means that’s probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for my most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They’re just Markdown files, 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 write. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of every 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 begin by answering each dot line using a couple of notes about what I should write in that segment. By the time I’m done, I’ll 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, because I understand the arrangement of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process became more involved. I’d actually planned to perform a complete rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours simply to get the outline done, so that I put the draft off for a different day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a good idea of what each segment would comprise and how they would work together to create a sense of flow in the article. Even though outlining took more than normal, drafting took less time because I’d put myself up for success. Writing 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 procedure to the way I normally work, and I was tempted a few times to avoid the additional research or thinking necessary to complete the outline properly. I often put off these things till I’m drafting, which is when I must be focused on writing rather. I adhered to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and study process by applying this template. It’s a more effective part of my process now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, too.
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