Titles are tiring, even autobiographical ones.


I’m someone who’s quick with a joke or to light up a smoke. I’m funny, or so I’ve been told. Dry as a desert, but droll.

I have a quick wit. It’s a family trait. Too bad it doesn’t come with a kinder heart.

We’re wordsmiths, and I rarely struggle with my riposte.

Except when it comes to titles.

When it comes to naming my written works, I can’t seem to get it right. The titles are either off-topic or trying too hard. They don’t come close to following the rules, but I cut myself some slack there. I wasn’t aware title rules were a thing until recently.

Our species is certainly a fan of the rule.

There’s title help available. There’s even an app for that because of course, there is, but I refuse to raise the white flag. I’ll continue to come up with lethargic labels on my own, whether it’s for a simple essay, the great Canadian novel, or an autobiographical effort.

I find title creation in the novel and autobiography categories particularly challenging – it’s not one-and-done as it is with essays (I don’t use subtitles in my essays despite the plethora of articles detailing it as the correct one true way because of the aforementioned creation challenges. It’s why God invented ways to separate paragraphs without them. I’m a fan of dot separators, but you could do dashes if you wanted. Stars if you really feel like mixing it up).

I don’t have to speculate on what I’d do, however, in the event. I have a novel and an autobiography gathering electronic dust. The former was an experiment; I wanted to see if I could write one. It’s not great, and I’m not sure I’ll get back to it. It’s not a passion project.

I wrote the autobiography because I wanted to, though I haven’t worked on it in more than a year. The why of it got fuzzy. It can also be a little bit triggering to regularly play in historical traumas, a necessity when writing about oneself. I just got to a point where I didn’t feel like dealing with it anymore.

I have planned to get back to it this year.

Neither of them is short. The novel is 48,000 words, and the autobiography is nearly 73,000 words. They’re also not undivided. I broke them up as I went. Nobody needs a chapter of one-hundred-and-fifty-two pages.

I wrote them as chapter books. I’m a big girl now.

They aren’t, however, titled. The chapters. The books have names and no, I’m not sharing. They’re fluid anyhow. I used the same chapter titles for both works, which could be a mistake unless I was sticking with numbers, which I am. No clever wordplay, just chapters one to thirty-one.

They’re even sequential.

I saved my creativity for the font.

13 thoughts on “Titles are tiring, even autobiographical ones.

  1. Intriguing to see that you’ve already dabbled in writing your Autobiography. My heart goes out to you when you mentioned past trauma…it’s hard to revisit even at the best of times. I’ll have to look up a “Title” app because the titles of my Memoir don’t seem to grab the reader’s attention πŸ™ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember reading books that had numbers for chapters. Do not know why there has to be a title to chapters. I understand when doing a autobiography about yourself, the past is sometimes hard to deal with. I have that problem in writing my own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I’m glad to find others on team – number.
      It really is hard to go back sometimes. I think it’s why I’m reluctant to edit. I know what nastiness lies inside.


  3. Titles are overrated anyway…. surprisingly I could if I had to give a lecture on the importance of titles and how to pick the perfect one, yet I will go ahead and disregard all of that as I go my merry way writing things without titles… maybe numbers for numerical reference but otherwise …. we write!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think titles for book chapters is an overkill. Numbering them is sufficient.
    I struggle with titling my work at times, too. I like the ones that are more ‘lofty,’ but the algorithm likes it when they’re more spelled out. Because we don’t value intelligence anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Looking forward to reading your books. Yes, coming up with book titles is tedious work. I usually do a vote on Instagram to choose my next title. My upcoming book (parenting stories from 2020 and 2021) is in the process of editing (its taking so long because im editing it and I hate editing). The vote on Instagram chose a real catchy title. I will share the title when I finish editing.

    Liked by 1 person

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