insert title here, please
a few days ago i published a post with 5 reasons why i love my job. there’s a bunch of stuff i don’t love about my job (and i write “don’t love” to stop myself from writing “hate”). the first one i can think of is writing titles. i hate it i hate it i hate it. i never know what to write and sometimes the shortest title takes me longer to write than the longest article.
it might look like a minor issue but it’s not, really. titles are a very important part of a story and writing stories is one of the most important parts of a journalist’s job. when the busy reader is going through the pages of a magazine or newspaper or jumping from news website to news website reading headlines, the title is the decisive factor between reading or not reading the story.
when i was studying to become a journalist (or sort of), a journalist that i highly respect taught me that a good title should be informative, kind of like a sum up of what the article is about, something simple and direct. supposing that the reader didn’t have time to read the whole story, the title should be enough to let him know what’s been talked about. looking at it this way, it’s kind of like the title is the tool for the lazy reader.
so i’m confused: to we want readers to read our stories or not? should the title reveal the essential like that journalist told me or should it just attract the readers’ attention and make them want to know more about what’s being talked about? if that’s the case, maybe “informative” isn’t the best adjective to define a good title. creative or appealing, perhaps. and maybe it doesn’t have to tell much about what happened, forcing the reader to at least pay attention to the first couple of paragraphs of the story.
well, all this rant is to justify the fact that i suck at choosing titles. that’s it.