Federal Register from supplement facts label template , image source: www.federalregister.gov
supplement facts label template
It might seem to be an easy step. Simply open a new document and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to have a strong working title and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could speed up his composing procedure ~600% by producing a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the same process for every new article I work on. Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and over means that is probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for the common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John structures 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 are just Markdown files, so go ahead and save , rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to compose. Click the”view raw” link to the bottom of each list to observe the plain text version, which you may copy to a new file in your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot line using a few notes about what I should write in that segment. From 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 cause them to flow to each other nicely, since I know the structure of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I had actually planned to perform a complete rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a few hours just to have the outline done, so that I set off the draft for a different day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, and a good idea of what each segment would contain and how they would work together to create a sense of flow from the post. Even 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 was quite a different process to how I normally do the job, and I was tempted a couple of times to prevent the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. I often put these things off till I am drafting, which is when I should be focused on writing instead. I adhered 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’s a more productive part of the process now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better work, also.