I have two new essays coming out soon in Fourth Genre and Cutbank, which I’m super excited about, and they both take their titles from clickbait articles. It’s a project I’ve been slowly, slowly working on during breaks between The Long Thing (I’m too superstitious to call it a novel, except in a whispered voice in a dark room), and it’s so much fun. The idea is to either use an existing clickbait article as a title or partial title, or make one up yourself–I like the ones with numbers because they suggest a form–and use that idea/structure to write something true about yourself. I have a huge list of possible titles that I haven’t yet written, including “The 7 Stages of ___” (Invisibility? Fatigue? Buyer’s Regret?), “9 Things That Make You Unlikable” (this one is straight from Forbes, unedited), “13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married” (from The New York Times), “10 Reasons to Binge Watch ____,” “Reasons for Daylight Savings Time,” “Cures for Nightmares….” So many possibilities! One of my favorite kinds of prompts for creative nonfiction is to juxtapose two or more unlike things and see how they speak to each other. I’d love to find other ways to work content and form against each other!
Head’s up: I’m taking a break from consulting as I work on The Long Thing through winter and spring this year, but I hope to get back to your writing soon! Wish me luck!