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It may look to be an easy step. Just open a new document and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to have a solid working title and an outline before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his writing process ~600% by producing a summary .
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realized I had been repeating the same process for every single new post I work . Like any good programmer, I realized repeating the same work over and above means that is probably a good chance for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I began by creating a template for my most common Ghost blog article structure. Since that structure’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 every template I’ve made a gist to show you what they look like. They’re just Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save them, rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to compose. Click the”view raw” link to the bottom of every gist to view the plain text version, which you may 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 should write in that section. By 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 to fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow into each other well, since I understand the arrangement of the whole piece beforehand.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process became more involved. I had actually planned to perform a complete rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a few hours just to get the outline done, so I set off the draft for a different day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, and a good idea of what each segment would contain and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow from the post. Though outlining took more than normal, drafting took less time since I had set myself up for success. Composing 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 was quite a different process to the way I normally work, and that I had been tempted a few times to prevent the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline properly. I frequently put off these things till I’m drafting, and that’s when I must be centered on writing instead. I adhered to it, however, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I’d had.
I have really coined my outline and research procedure by using this template. It’s a more productive part of the procedure now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, also.