Studies have shown that, instead of making us feel richer and blessed, an over abundance of choices actually makes us less happy. We get paralyzed. What if we make the wrong choice? How do we decide between similar, but slightly different options? How do we cope with having to leave so many delightful options behind? This dilemma is certainly true about my abundance of possible writing projects. Should I get back to light verse, one of my first loves? Or should I tackle even a small smidge of the book length manuscript I’ve been working on for several years? Then there’s the lure of responding to calls for essays and short stories that appear every day on the several lists and forums that I follow. Perhaps it’s a matter of focusing on completing the project that is most nearly ready for submission, so I’ll have one more manuscript in circulation? Each choice offers emotional and/or practical benefits. And of course, my decision might be determined by some deadline or other that I’ve already committed to.
In the end, while I can have several projects in various stages of development, I can only work on one piece at a time. The important thing for me is not to get bogged down in trying to make the “right” decision. The important thing is to make any decision at all. Just get started on moving something ahead. My job today will be the one of the smallest, and yet most crucial tasks: coming up with a title for my latest short crime fiction story. A good title won’t sell the piece. But it’s more likely to catch the editor’s eye. And it bears such importance to me, in my own mind, that it feels like a giant hump to get over. If I can do that one thing, I’ll feel encouraged about my work for the day. I wish the same for you, today and every day.
You are so right! Making decisions about writing work is fraught with potholes and angst. I admit I rarely use up a lot of stress deciding on titles, instead thinking about them at other times during the day and night, off and on. But I also have several unfinished projects, and it is difficult to get back to them when there are more shiny ideas in my head I want to write. Hope you come up with the perfect title and tomorrow you can get back to finishing one of those products, then stick to it until The End.
And you are right also in that it often works best to let my unconscious mind mull around with titles. But if I can come up with the right one, it fires up my enthusiasm to continue. Thanks for commenting, Jan. Lida