Titling is Half the Battle

I must pay homage again to jjiraffe, who guided me to this post by Lori at Write Mind Open Heart. It’s the results of a survey about blogging, and it got me thinking about how I work.

I’ll throw a quick excerpt from Lori’s post in here: ‘Among the 5% [who title first, then write the post]: It’s the blank at the top. Therefore, I fill it in first.

Wow, I’m totally like a sociopath in that I title first. You know, ‘we are very rare, and we are mostly men.’ Maybe not. Sorry, I just watched Girl, Interrupted again the other day.

Anyway, point is, I title first. I’m extremely uncomfortable writing a post that doesn’t have some semblance of a title. Somehow it feels like I’m devaluing what I’m writing. If it’s good enough to write, it’s good enough for a title!

And titles are so important. Titles are like cover art for books or albums. It’s my chance to draw you into this seamy underworld I write in before you quite realize what you’ve gotten yourself into here. They can be cutesy, or spoofy, or clever, or shocking, or alliterative, or boringly indicative of what’s to come.

My preference for my titles is not the latter.

I like titles that pop. Unfortunately, those can be hard to find at times, or with certain subject matter. But I try not to give up and say ‘well, that’s the best I got.’

My husband is a namer. Pets, household items, body parts, they all get names. I am not. Except when it comes to writing. Maybe I understand that urge better than I thought I did.


7 Comments on “Titling is Half the Battle”

  1. Brooke says:

    I’m a title -er too 🙂
    No way could I open up a new post and start writing body without a title. Now Ill admit sometimes my posts get all crazy and off track and then when Im done Im like-woah, that title isnt accurate and have to change it-but NEVER would I start without a subject!!!

  2. About 15% of the time I accidentally publish my posts with no title because I hate trying to come up with them so much that I avoid it until the last minute. And then sometimes I forget. And usually the titles are just random nouns strung together.

  3. Jjiraffe says:

    That survey had a lot of interesting points: this was definitely a good one. I’m in the 5% who titles first too. I think it’s because blog posts generally just kind of appear in my head, almost fully formed, so I already know the titles.

    • aprilvak says:

      I have so few Athenas jumping from my head. I usually start with only the most general ideas that sometimes actually have something to do with the finished post.

  4. teri says:

    I mostly write first then title…but sometimes I title first especially if I know what I’m going to write. And a lot of the time I just sit and look at a blank page and somehow end up saving it and then I wonder why I have 5 posts in my draft folder with nothing in them.

  5. I title first almost always

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