When I was in college one thing that used to confound me was headline writing.  It always seemed impossible to find that combination of words that sounded snappy enough, pithy enough and apt enough to sit at the top of my article.

When I wrote my first book (currently sitting in a drawer of my filing cabinet gathering dust) I sat for days with a dictionary of quotations on my lap flicking through it for inspiration.  I never had any problem with content – maybe something to do with the fact that I’ve always been able to talk the hind legs off a whole ark of donkeys and assorted livestock – but actually committing to something by giving it a title!  That was always the tricky bit.

Of course, these days, if pushed I can suggest several passable possibilities off the top of my head but there’s always the nagging feeling that I’ve missed the perfect phrase.  The Devil in the Red Dress (my soon to be published first book) kind of named itself.  The title is taken from a phrase in one of the emails between Lying Eyes and Tony Luciano (for more details on what the hell the book’s about have a look at The Story Behind the Book).  It suits the story and it’s been in the headlines before.

But tonight I’m trying to think of a title for this blog.  While the main purpose, granted is self promotional, and so naming it after myself makes sense I just can’t get used to seeing my name as a headline and want to get it back to byline size.  Of course, if you’re reading this once I’ve found the perfect phrase you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about but right now my name is just too big.

Of course, if I can’t think of a blog title then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and you’re probably thinking I’m rather big headed by now. But I am trying to find the perfect title that sums up why I’m here and what I’m about – and that hasn’t been used before.  Titles are the hook that draws you in and frequently the first thing that lodges in your mind.  A memorable title can enter the terminology of popular culture (not that I’m particularly aiming for the Zeitgeist here).  I’d like it to be my words not anybody else’s

It’s only when I sit down and try to work out what to call this thing I realise my distressing tendency towards pretension (well I might have had an inkling, I’m sitting listening to moody 60s French music as I write this although does it stop being pretentious if you actually like it but probably starts again when you draw attention to it – ah well.)  I’ve lists of rejected choices (Compost of the Mind was a serious contender for about ten minutes)

It’s ridiculous though, on a daily basis I send out copy that doesn’t have and doesn’t need a headline, other than for purely informative purposes.  If I write a book the title can be changed by the publisher at any stage.  But a blog is different.  It’s mine and only mine and so the pressure to name it right suddenly reaches monumental proportions.  I didn’t think this hard about naming the cat!

But as I say, this is a rather moot point.  If I find the perfect phrase this post stops meaning anything and if I don’t I’m just highlighting an irritating weakness.  After all this is a blog, not a diary…must resist slipping into confessional mode to the vastness of the Net…these things are dangerous!