web style guide template from website style guide template , image source: cityapteka.info
website style guide template
It may seem to be a simple step. Just open a new document and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to have a strong working name and an outline before I write too much. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could accelerate his composing procedure ~600 percent by producing an outline .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I was repeating the exact same procedure for every new post I work . Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I began by creating a template for the common Ghost blog post structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John structures his articles, and another based on a writer whose work I respect.
For each 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’re ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of every gist to observe the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file in your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can begin by answering each dot line with a couple of notes about what I should write in that section. From the time I am done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the final 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 nicely, since I know the arrangement of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became much more involved. I had actually planned to perform a full rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a few hours simply to get the outline done, so that I set the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a solid idea about what each section would comprise and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow in the post. Though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took time because I’d set myself up for victory. 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 2.
It was quite a different process to how I normally do the job, and that I was tempted a couple of 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 should be focused on writing instead. I stuck to it, however, 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 applying this template. It’s a more effective part of my process now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better work, also.
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