No, the title of this blog isn’t a forgotten placeholder error.
I’ve seen lots of that type of thing as an editor. Writers often use placeholders in certain spots to block out structures for articles or reports and then forget to go back and actually title the thing or come up with headings.
In this case, I didn’t forget.
I just didn’t know what to call today’s hot mess or where to start, really; my mind has been muddied with life difficulties of late.
I’m also a tiny bit OCD about my pre-writing dance as I face the blank page and blinking cursor.
When I first start a blog post or story, I open a blank document and then save it right away to my desktop. That file needs the date, the blog number, and the title of the blog.
I’ll stare at that title for quite a while. It brings focus—sometimes. It brings angst at other times when I’m not sure how I’ll spin the tale. But it has to be there.
Something has to be there.
Sometimes I change the title a dozen times or more as I write. It drives me crazy not to have that top-of-page line to focus on. And, Oh.My.Goodness what a disaster if I don’t have a short story title in the header of my manuscript before page three. “Title” seems like such a failure as it glares at me from the top right corner of the screen. It’s something I know I’ll have to address eventually, but having a working title can bring focus and clarity.
It also reminds Little Miss Muse that we’re currently working on THIS PARTICULAR PIECE and not ANOTHER RANDOM IDEA.
It's a quirk.
Today, I came up with a half dozen blog ideas, five were really bad, before settling on this writerly ramble and then couldn’t decide what name to save the file under.
I despised typing “Title Goes Here” in the Save As line, but it shook something loose.
I feel I’m in a state of constantly starting over with the writing goals and dreams. It’s getting old. I’m ready to move on.
Then, once the circus settles or the latest physical ailment eases, I sit down at my writing desk and go, “Now, where was I?”
Title Goes Here.
Start at the beginning with the blank page, the blinking cursor, and an excited purple imp muse who’s been way too long alone in the corner with her bottle rockets and lavender glitter bombs and grape-flavored bubble gum. She’s ready to get to work.
But she needs a little focus.
Title Goes Here.
Then the next word, and the next. The next thought piles on top of the previous one. Word by word until full sentences fall from my fingertips and finally, finally, that glorious state of “flow” where it’s me, Little Miss Muse, and, well, an actual story line…
Something will inevitably pull me away from the writing. Something always does. It’s life in this circus of mine with all the crazy monkeys...
But I know by now I can always start again.
From the top.
Until the story is all told and…
The End Goes Here.