It’s a quirk, I think.
When I’m starting a new project, a writing project, I have to give it a working title. It helps keep me focused, somehow. Although, I truly don’t know exactly what I’m writing about until I start writing. The story emerges out of the typing, like drumbeats determining a song’s tempo. But since I nearly always write creative nonfiction, personal stories, memoir, then I kind of know, in many aspects, where I’m going. It’s like driving on a five-lane highway, I just have to decide what lane to be in.
I have a few pages of writing done on this project. And a lot more research than I’ve ever done before. Much more organization on this project. This is different than what I’ve done in the past, so it feels a little strange.
Still, I need that title. And so far, I’m still working on it.
Can you imagine having a child and then many days later, finally giving the child a name? I know one couple who waited weeks after their daughter’s birth before deciding on a name. They said they wanted to experience the child for a time before deciding. I was supposed to be named Timothy, but my mother said when she first laid eyes on me she knew I wasn’t a Tim. A couple hours later I got my name. I was a David, she said. But it took a little time to make that final decision. I don’t think it would be a good idea to give a child a working title.
So, in essence, my writing project was born a few weeks ago and it’s now growing, its little eyes opening, its chubby hands grasping, its feet wiggling, and there are the cries in the night, and the dirty diapers of bad prose to be tossed away. But still, this child has no name.
Maybe for now, I’ll just call it Ralph.