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writing a business plan template
It may look to be an easy step. Simply open a new document and start typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to get a solid working name and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his composing process ~600% by creating an outline .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the exact same process for every new post I work on. Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and over means that is probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I began by creating a template for the most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I respect.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They’re only Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save , rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link on the bottom of each list to observe the plain text version, which you may copy into a new file in your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot point with a few notes about what I need to write in that section. 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 into fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow to each other nicely, since I know the arrangement of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became much more involved. I had actually planned to perform a complete rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so that I set off the draft for another day.
On the other hand, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a solid idea of what each segment would comprise and how they’d work together to create a sense of flow in the article. Even though outlining took longer than normal, drafting took less time because I had put myself up for victory. Composing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes out of the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or two.
It was quite a different procedure to how I normally work, and that I had been tempted a few times to avoid the extra research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. I often put off these things till I am drafting, which is when I must be focused on writing rather. I adhered to it, however, and by the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I’d had.
I’ve actually overhauled my outline and research process by using this template. It is a more productive part of my procedure now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better work, also.
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