Grab this Free Printable Letter from Santa from letter from santa template , image source: pinterest.com
It may look to be an easy step. Just open a new file and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for this to work for me. I like to have a strong working title and a summary before I write a lot of. John’s written about this earlier, after he found he could speed up his composing 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 new post I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realised repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to create a few templates for myself.
I began by developing a template for my most common Ghost blog post structure. Since that structure’s particular to me, I also created a template based on how John structures his posts, and another based on a writer whose work I respect.
For each template I’ve created a gist to show you what they look like. They’re just Markdown documents, so go right ahead and save , rename them if you prefer, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to compose. Click on the”view raw” link on the bottom of every list to observe the plain text version, which you can copy to a new file on your favourite writing app.
With this template, I can begin with answering each dot line using a few notes about what I should write in that section. By 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 expand my notes to fully-formed paragraphs and cause them to flow into each other well, because I know the structure of the entire piece in advance.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became much more involved. I had actually planned to do a full rough draft of the post in the morning, but it took me a few hours just to have the outline done, so I put the draft off for another day.
On the flip side, I had over 1600 words written in my outline, along with a good idea about what each segment would contain and how they would work together to create a sense of flow from the article. Though outlining took more than usual, drafting took less time because I’d put myself up for victory. Writing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling it out into a readable paragraph or two.
It was quite a different procedure to how I normally work, and I was tempted a few times to prevent the extra research or thinking necessary to fill out the outline correctly. I often put off these things till I am 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’ve really coined my outline and research procedure by using this template. It is a more productive part of my process now, and makes printing easier. Hopefully it will lead to better function, too.