Santa s Survey Free Printable from secret santa form template , image source: overthebigmoon.com
secret santa form template
It may seem to be an easy step. Just open a new document and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I like 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 speed up his writing procedure ~600% by creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the same procedure for every single new article I work on. Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and above means that is probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I began by creating a template for the most common Ghost blog post arrangement. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are just Markdown files, 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 write. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of every list to view the plain text version, which you can copy into 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. By the time I’m done, I’ll 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 into each other nicely, since I know the arrangement of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I’d really 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 set the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a good idea of what each section would comprise and how they would work together to create a sense of flow from the article. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took time because I had put myself up for success. Writing the draft was just 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 process to the way I normally work, and I was tempted a couple of times to avoid the extra research or thinking required to complete the outline properly. I frequently put these things off until I am drafting, and that’s when I should be focused on writing rather. I stuck to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I have actually overhauled my outline and study process by applying this template. It is a more effective part of my procedure now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, also.
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