Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I've come up with a system that I really like for giving titles to my blog posts.  Before I start writing, I try to think of a clever phrase that is in at least some way related to my post.  Then, as I'm writing, I look for ways to insert that phrase into my text.  If I can, great.  If I can't, then I don't worry too much, and I'll generally pick a new title once I'm done from the text that I wrote.  But it gives me one little burst of inspiration and keeps me thinking about what I'm writing, and I like that.  I feel like it keeps me focused, but not so focused that I become too attached to my original ideas.

(This post was originally called "Clever titles," but I renamed it at the end because I came up with something I liked more.  Having that temporary title from the start helped frame what I wrote.)

I think I design a lot of things that way.  When I'm doing artistic work like designing a website layout, I tend to come up with a small image that represents the theme and visual ideas that I'm going for, and then evolve that into something bigger, and then continually refine it.  (Most of this stuff never leaves my own computer.  The design part is the fun part, and turning it into something functional is usually rather tedious, so I never bother finishing it.  Usually something is lost in the process due to technical constraints, too, so it's a little more fun to see my ideas in their "best" state when they're just a nonfunctional mockup.)  When I write code, I start with small little bits of code with a consistent theme and work from there, sometimes evolving it so much that it's completely different by the time I'm done and the original theme isn't even present anymore.  That's fine.  It kept me focused, and it served its purpose as inspiration, even if I didn't stick with my original idea.

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