The BLOG Method
Writing a periodic blog can be a grand way to motivate yourself in writing, especially when you are not attempting to make a career as a writer. [Career writers MUST write each day! Motivated or not.] Your blog can be bi-weekly or monthly. In between posts, keep notes on ideas that you have. Relate the ideas to sections within your outline. In this way, you can ensure that your blog—as a motivation exercise—contributes to your production schedule.
In order to get the most out of this exercise, it helps to view your project in new ways. Now, you may consider your project as a large piece of rock that must be fashioned into a product. Another option is to realize that your project is a large boulder made up of smaller stones. Stones are made up of pebbles. The pebbles are made up of granules. The only thing smaller than granules is sand. Beyond outlining, this perspective on your project can make an epic project manageable, even easy.
Outlining is important to organize the broad sections and sub-sections of your work. As you plan your production schedule, you will need new ways to maintain your motivation and perspective on the work at hand. Broad sections and sub-sections are your boulders and stones. Continue the outlining process within the sub-sections to create two new levels of granularity: section outlines and content flow.
Section Outlines: the Pebbles
Generally, think of each new level of granularity as a beginning-middle-end break-down at the next level. That is, you may have created 6 sub-sections from the original 3 broad sections—2 sub-sections for each of the 3 broad sections. With section outlines, you now outline beginning, middle, and end for each of the 6 sub-sections. This adds at least another 18 outline listings to your outline.
The goal with the section outlines is to organize the presentation of your thoughts logically. The example above describes an equal number of granules at each level, but you do not have to maintain an equal amount for each. Keep in mind, though, that your granules must provide a beginning, middle, and end leading toward the next presentation of content.
Content Flow: the Granules
Content flow describes the typical presentation of content in each of the section outlines. Most content presentations begin with an introduction and end with a summary. This convention is expected for non-fiction training, but may be altered in fiction texts. Program proposals and business plans typically begin with an executive summary, which describes the overall goals, operations, management, and financial expectations of the business.
Consider a general rule of thumb. Include an introduction, core content, and summary within each section outline. The introduction will introduce the section including what the reader is expected to gain. The core content will present the content for reflection. The summary provides a check to the reader to ensure that the expectations were met. As well, the summary can be used to suggest further exploration from other sources.
[.RTF GRANULAR OUTLINE_exAMPLE]