Sometimes we get some of our best ideas out of nowhere. My best ideas seem to come as I’m in the middle of something—reading, eating dinner, even sleeping—but no matter the circumstance, I always take a few moments to write those ideas down. The Muse strikes when it wants to, and you better be prepared to listen. If you ignore it, you could be losing a great idea.
Lately, as I’ve been trying to outline some future chapters of what is tentatively titled “Forward Together,” I’ve realized that what I’m writing each day—the way my writing is going, the way my Muse is taking me—is making that title appear more unsuitable as I outline, plan, and write forward. “Forward Together” doesn’t fit the story or the future track of the story anymore.
I’ve been trying to think of something new, something more fitting and appropriate. I’ve learned over the past few weeks that it’s impossible and downright futile for me to sit and try to come up with a new title. With all of my other works, the titles came at the most inexplicably random times. Keeping this in mind, I resolved to put the task of finding a new title to the back of my mind.
A few moments ago, I was reading the December issue of “The Writer’s Chronicle,” AWP’s monthly publication. There is an interview with poet Cornelius Eady, and in it, he explains how the title of his most recent poetry collection changed as he chose the poems to include in the collection.
That’s when it hit me. The new title for my novel, that is. “The Harshness of Reality” is what popped into my mind. I like it. I’ve written it down. The more I think about the way my novel is moving, the more fitting I feel this new title is. I’m adopting it as my new “working title.”
It’s astounding how certain ideas make themselves known. I’m realizing that every day.