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It might look to be an easy step. Just open a new file and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for that to work for me. I like to get a strong working name and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could speed up his composing process ~600 percent by producing an outline .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the exact same process for every new post I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the same work over and above means that is probably a fantastic chance for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I started by developing a template for the most common Ghost blog post structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John constructions his posts, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They are 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 are ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link to the bottom of each list to view the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file in your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can start by answering each dot line with a couple of notes about what I need to write in that segment. By the time I’m done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it simpler to expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other nicely, since I know the arrangement of the whole piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my summarizing procedure became more involved. I’d really planned to perform a complete rough draft of the post in the early hours, but it took me a few hours just to get the outline done, so that I set the draft off for a different day.
On the other hand, I’d over 1600 words composed in my outline, along with a good idea of what each section would contain and how they’d work together to create a feeling of flow in the article. Even though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took less time because I had put 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 two.
It had been quite a different process to the way I normally work, and I was tempted a few times to avoid the extra research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline properly. I frequently put off these things until I’m drafting, and that’s when I should 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 have really overhauled my outline and study procedure by applying this template. It’s a more productive part of the procedure now, and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, also.