Today my class was working on a quick paragraph assignment and we came to the conclusion that despite brainstorming and copious note-taking, the hardest part of writing is the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, the pre-writing is challenging and thought provoking. It requires mental energy. You have to be somewhat focused. But writing the first few sentences… well, that’s the moment when you just go for it. You’re not sure what it’s going to sound like. It may be totally lame. Though for some reason, you decide to start.
Ultimately, I don’t think it has anything to do with the skills we possess as a writer. There’s something inherently challenging when it comes to starting. Take a blog for instance. It was not terribly difficult to conclude I wanted to write a blog. It wasn’t hard to figure out what I wanted to write about, or the audience I wanted to reach. Figuring out a title to center and unite together all of the ideas I would share – seemed impossible.
Suggestions for Figuring Out a Blog Title
- What’s Your Topic? – First and foremost think through the logistics. What do you want to write about? By acknowledging the content you wish to share and explore with others, you will remind yourself of keywords associated with the topic. Keywords are great in blog titles because they help those of us surfing the web quickly figure out if it’s worth our time to read what you have to say.
- Know Your Strengths – Think about your own personality. Are you outgoing or introvert, sarcastic and cynical, or defined by a label placed on you from society such as a newbie or veteran? Think through what aspects of your personality and character make you unique. Try using one of these words in your title to create a catchy and intriguing name for your blog.
- Fight A.D.D – While medical experts will surely disagree with me, I think everyone’s attention span is dwindling away. It is tough enough to stay focused when someone is staring you in the face, but replace personal interaction with a computer screen and I’m left with the attention span of a toddler. You must help internet surfers fight this ADD battle why selecting words strategically. Be creative. Hold my attention. Make me feel emotion. I want to stay on your blog for more than 10 seconds, but you have to entice and make me.
Embrace Your Story
Behind every final decision for the select words that will grace a blog title, there is a story. The trick is recognizing it. Once that story begins to form, do not be afraid to embrace it! You must remember that the title is as much for the millions of internet viewers as it is for yourself. Here is the story behind Hallway Murmurs.
Last year, our principal pushed staff to be cognizant of standing in the hallways during passing period. As with all change, teachers were slow to initiate this presence. While the request was small, it required teachers to better manage their time and for those of us shorties in the world, I may dare to say it was a bit daunting (I’ve been bumped, okay more like slammed, into on more than one occasion).
By the end of the year, however, the new expectation became more and more routine. In fact, it became a social break for teachers. I began to enjoy seeing my fellow ELA teammates standing in the culdesac of the hallway my room is located on.
We chatted about crazy shenanigans of seventh graders and connected more with one another as we shared our weekend plans. We even started collaborating! It amazed me just how much we could discuss. Curriculum, interventions, interdisciplinary questions, all were fair game within a two-minute window.
Now, one year later, I couldn’t imagine NOT standing in the hallways during passing periods.
I love charging down the hallway, like a middle schooler on a mission, and sharing lesson highlights with my co-teacher. A smile comes over my face as other teachers make eye contact, wave, and walk over to ask how it’s going. I’ve received help and advice from fellow teachers, more than I can remember, on how to handle situations that came up during the last class period while standing briefly in the crowded corridor.
When deciding a title for this blog, the keyword hallway seemed a natural fit because so much of my collaboration and conversation takes place there. As for murmurs, well, when you are standing in the hallway you have to keep your voice down. Duh! Even a chatterbox like me knows that.