Today is the beginning of a new venture: I am starting a blog. It is the thing to do, “everybody” does it. To stand out from the crowd these days, one merely has to resist starting a blog. And resist I did, until today. Why did I resist? Not to stand out from the crowd, as you may have gathered from my previous statement. Well, maybe just a little. To tell the truth, I never gave it much thought until recently. Then why did I change my mind? The answer is simple: I enjoy writing. Blogs are good for that.
So I girded myself and started up WordPress. The first thing it wanted me to do was provide a title for the entire blog site. And now, at the very beginning, I find myself at a loss. Certainly individual writings require titles, and it is easy enough to think of a title for an essay, article, poem, or story. It is even sometimes fun to think of the title first, and then form content around it. But a title for an entire blog? I don’t know where to begin.
Titles are important. They convey a sense of mood, a hint of what’s in store, a tinge of location, perhaps. One can sometimes tell from a title that a written work will be humorous, or serious, whimsical, or darkly mysterious. A title can hint of innocence while promising horror. It can be enticingly abstract, making the reader wonder what the writing could possibly be about. Or it can be mundane and opaque, providing no inkling of what is to come.
The big question, when it comes to titles, is how to choose one. The content of an article or essay should certainly lead to the suggestion of a title. But what about a blog? Surely not all the articles in a blog will have the same content, or flavor, or category. So I suppose I should ask myself: What am I trying to do here? What is the “purpose” of my blog? My first goal is to establish a place to create and store writing samples so I can persuade people to hire me as a writer. But that is today’s mission. What will my blog be doing tomorrow? Or next year? If I get a job writing for someone else, will I still want to blog? I think I will. While writing professionally is a good career, writing for fun is, … well, fun.
Writing is not all fun and games, though, it is good exercise for the brain. When I write, my thoughts become more focused. Often I find that when I have difficulty articulating a concept, it is because I am unsure of my understanding of that concept. So I go and research the subject to improve my grasp.
I sometimes use a word, then wonder if I really understand that word, and ask myself whether I am using it correctly. So I open a new browser tab and call up Merriam-Webster. More often than not, I find my usage is correct, but sometimes I learn that I have been misusing a word for years. Once I recover from the horror, I learn the correct definition and usage and add the word to my toolkit.
So now I have established that I want to have a blog for fun and profit and self-improvement. But I still don’t know what to call it. I will just have to proceed with the writing, and see what comes to mind.
Gail Hunn ©2013