Soup Can Clip Art Cliparts from soup can label template , image source: cliparts.co
soup can label template
It might look like a simple step. Just open a new file and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to get a solid working title and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could accelerate his composing process ~600% by creating an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the exact same procedure for every new post I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for the common Ghost blog article arrangement. Since that arrangement’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John constructions his posts, and another based on a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They’re 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 compose. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of every list to view the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file in your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot line using a couple of notes about what I need to write in that segment. By the time I’m done, I will 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 cause them to flow into each other well, because I know the structure of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became much more involved. I had really planned to perform a full rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours simply to have the outline done, so that I set the draft off for a different day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a good idea about what each section would comprise and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow from the article. Though outlining took more than usual, drafting took time since I had set myself up for success. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different procedure to the way I normally do the job, and that I had been tempted a few times to prevent the extra research or thinking required to fill out the outline correctly. I frequently put these things off till I’m drafting, and that’s when I must be centered on writing instead. I adhered to it, though, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I have really overhauled my outline and research procedure by using this template. It’s a more effective part of my process now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, also.
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