Freebie Fridays – Thank You from thank you postcard template , image source: thecreativestack.wordpress.com
thank you postcard template
It might seem like a simple step. Simply open a new file and start typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to have a strong working title and an outline before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could accelerate his writing process ~600 percent by producing an outline first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I was repeating the same procedure for every single new post I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and above means that’s probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for the common Ghost blog article structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, 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 made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are just Markdown documents, so go 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 every list to observe the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file in your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can begin with answering each dot point using a few notes about what I need to write in that section. From 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 expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow to each other nicely, because I know the structure of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became much more involved. I’d actually planned to perform a full rough draft of that post in the early hours, but it took me a few 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 written in my outline, along with a good idea of what each section would comprise and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow in the article. Though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took less time because I had set myself up for success. Writing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or two.
It had been quite a different procedure to how I normally work, and that I had been tempted a couple of times to prevent the additional research or thinking required to fill out the outline properly. I frequently put off these things until I’m drafting, and that’s when I must be centered on writing instead. I adhered to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I’ve really coined my outline and study process by using this template. It is a more productive part of the process now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, too.
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