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April 4, 2011

I am not very good at coming up with titles.  Or, I am really very good at coming up with titles.  With me and titles, there is no in between. I have a notebook full of titles that might one day be somethings.  I have a hard drive full of somethings that need titles.  Though unfortunately, none of them match up at present.

To be fair, I’m not very good at naming anything (I fear for any future children I may have).  I agonized over the name of my (late) cat, naming her a week after I got her, subsequent to her having sneezed on my face to wake me up.  I decided on naming her Sneezy as I washed cat boogers off my face.  This bipolar title disorder shouldn’t affect my day to day living, but somehow it has managed to.

I have been paralyzed with writer’s block – unable to even begin to think about writing anything – if I don’t have a title when I start out.  I have also gone into a writing trance – not stopping to eat or drink or sleep or wash – after coming up with a good (great) title.

A title either is the first thing I write and it remains unchanged from conception, or I write and write and write and hope that the title will divinely reveal itself to me.  I’m always satisfied with my title when it comes first, I’m never happy with it when it does not.  I’m nearing the end of two plays for Parks Canada that are both currently titleless, and have been titleless for weeks now, and there is no title in sight.

Stealing a title from another source?  Good idea, but ethically dubious.

A line of dialogue from the play?  Nothing works.

Puns?  Tried ‘em.

Now my deadline is approaching and I have one play called To Be Determined and another named Title Goes Here. Not very inspiring, and I can’t very well submit two plays titled Untitled, can I?

So here I am, writing for all the Internet to see, and I don’t have a title for my blog either.  I’ve been wanting to – needing to – start writing regularly again for months but haven’t started.  Because I didn’t have a title.

It’s partly about suitability (it has to set the tone); it’s partly about identification (it has to stand out); it’s partly about being direct (it has to tell you what it’s about); and it’s partly about aesthetics (it has to look good in the header, after all).

But I’ve decided to just write, not worrying about titles.  And like a burst of cat mucous at 6:00 am, hope that the title finds me.

Of course, I was able to find the title of this post quite easily…

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