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writing an obituary template
It may look like an easy step. Simply open a new document and start typing, right? But it’s rare for that 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 found he could speed up his writing procedure ~600% by producing a summary .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the exact same process for every single new article I work on. Like any good programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and over means that’s probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make some templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for my common Ghost blog post arrangement. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I also created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They’re just Markdown files, so go right ahead and save , rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you’re ready to compose. Click the”view raw” link on the bottom of every gist to view the plain text version, which you may copy into a new file on your favourite writing program.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot point using a couple of notes about what I should write in that segment. From the time I’m done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the finished piece will look like. This should make it simpler to enlarge my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow to each other nicely, since I know the structure of the entire piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became much more involved. I’d really planned to perform a full rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a couple of hours just to have the outline done, so that I put off the draft for another day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words written in my outline, and a good idea of what each section would contain and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow from the article. Even though outlining took more than usual, drafting took less time since I’d set myself up for success. Writing the draft was just a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or 2.
It was quite a different procedure to how I normally do the job, and that I had been tempted a couple of times to avoid the extra research or thinking required to complete the outline properly. I frequently put off these things until I am drafting, and that’s when I should be focused on writing rather. I stuck to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was glad I had.
I have actually coined my outline and study process 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.