letter images Google Search from hogwarts acceptance letter template , image source: clrchs.co.uk
It may seem like an easy step. Just open a new file and begin typing, right? But it’s rare for this to work for me. I love to have a strong working name and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he discovered he could speed up his writing procedure ~600 percent by creating an outline first.
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 fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and above means that’s probably a good opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create some templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for the common Ghost blog post structure. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John structures his articles, and another based on a writer whose work I respect.
For every template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They are only Markdown documents, so go ahead and save them, rename them if you prefer, 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 into a new file on your favorite writing app.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point using a few notes about what I need to 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 into fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow to each other nicely, because I know the structure of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I found that my outlining process became more involved. I’d actually planned to perform a full rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so I set the draft off for a different day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a good idea about what each segment would comprise and how they would work together to create a feeling of flow in the post. Even though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took less time since I’d put myself up for success. Writing 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 procedure to the way I normally work, and that I was tempted a few times to avoid the additional research or thinking required to fill out the outline correctly. I often put these things off till I’m 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 have actually coined my outline and study procedure by using this template. It is a more effective part of my process now and makes printing easier. Hopefully it’ll lead to better function, also.