DOCUMENT CLUTTER… BEEN THERE, DONE THAT?
OR, WHY IS IT SO HARD TO COME UP WITH A GOOD TITLE?
I have a problem with document clutter. Well, more than one but my main problem is multiple revisions of a document because I keep doing a ‘save as’ in WORD every time I am inspired by what I call the ‘title of the moment’. I very rarely start a story with the same title that I end up when I finish – Revenge Will Wait for Another Day is one exception – so as I progress with my story, I will think of ‘the perfect title!!’ and instead of closing the document and renaming it – I don’t want to lose my momentum – I ‘save as’.
At one point while writing This Will All End In Tears, I had eight revisions saved under different names. You have to admit, that is kind of dumb, right? Especially when you consider that I am not exactly a novice when it comes to Microsoft WORD. Anyway… where was I? Oh, yes… that ‘perfect title!!’ isn’t, so… I save… and save… and…you get the idea. Why not just give my story a generic name and then when I am finished, add the title? That’s a good question. See, I can’t really write the story if there isn’t a title that has something to do with the story. It would bother me. Is that a bit anal?
There is an upside… sort of. If I somehow lose, as happened a few weeks ago, the latest draft of a document, I usually have a prior version somewhere on the computer, so I don’t have to start over from scratch. Once the hair-pulling and eye-gouging urge has passed and I do NOT reach for the bottle of Stoli tucked behind the Weetabix and Special K with Chocolate, I shoot Tina a look that could freeze fire – “Really? Now you choose not to understand my writer’s angst… do you have a death wish?” – and pull up a prior revision and get back to work.
Also known as taking a deep breath and pulling up my big girl panties!
Now… what is this thing with titles anyway? I swear, it is almost a physical pain sometimes, trying to get just the right title to come out
I wrote a guest blog for Paul D Brazill some time back, when I had just started out on my writing career – “Wow! A real, living breathing AUTHOR asked me to write a piece for HIS blog??” I’m sure I swooned a bit! So, I ‘fired up’ Bella… my laptop and constant companion… and before you could say, “Wow! Is that a thousand words already?” I had my piece finished… except for a title. For what seemed a small eternity, I agonized over a title. Titles have been, and continue to be, my ‘Achilles Heel’. I kid you not… I can write a 3,000 word story in the time it can take to come up with a good title.
Anyway, with a deadline fast approaching and my stubborn refusal to settle for anything less than a clever and catchy – in my mind, at any rate – title, I finally came up with this….
“Coming Up With A Good Title Is Like Excoriating My Flesh”
I thought the title was very appropriate because… I swear to you… it would be less painful to scrub the top three layers of flesh from my entire body than to come up with a good title sometimes Methinks the girl doth exaggerate, you say? You have obviously never felt my pain.
I just finished the [hopefully] final draft of a 4,000 word story for a disaster anthology and while I thought I had finally come up with a good title – yes, I have deleted the four prior versions from my hard drive – I am now not so sure. The title isn’t really doing anything for me… maybe I’ll just name it Story Number 96.
Does anyone know of a support group for the ‘story/book title challenged’? My therapist has declined to start one, and for what she charges, that’s probably not the best idea I have ever come up with.
But, getting back to the clutter…
How do you all deal with the not-so-limitless – who would have thought a 180GB hard drive on a laptop would ever NOT be big enough? – space on your computer for all your wonderful and not so wonderful (but keeping as a reminder of my less-than-brilliant flashes of inspiration) creations? Maybe there is some other stuff on the hard drive I could get rid of.
What’s this thing called Windows? It seems to be taking up an awful lot of room. Do I even use it? Maybe I could get rid of Windows…
© 2012 – Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw. All Rights Reserved.
I know exactly what you’re talking about!!!! Titles are also the bane of my existence. I can write a huge post that flows like melted butter from my fingertips, but when it comes time to pick a title, I sit and agonize for as long as it took me to write the post in the first place! It’s horrible. I now have an official editor for a new writing job I just got (yay!), and she’s always patiently suggesting, “Can we tighten up the title a bit? Do you have something more catchy?” and I never know what to say!
P.S. I love that your laptop has a name, too. I like naming inanimate objects.
Congratulations on your writing job!
I am so relieved to know I am not the only one who has trouble with titles… whew! I love your way with words… “… flows like melted butter from my fingertips…” 🙂
Tina bought Bella for me shortly after we got together. She knew even then that there was a lot I needed to say… things I needed to get out. The fourth ‘e’ of why we write. Writing became an integral part of my therapy. Bella and I have been through a lot… she knows my darkest secrets… many of them before Tina knew. I could never have told all those secrets to an inanimate object, so…
I haven’t hired an editor yet for my memoir novel – I want to finish the third draft before I hand it over to the ‘red pencil’ – , but I do have a title and I’m not going to budge on that! 🙂