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What comes first, the title or the content?

When you write, which tends to happen first for you? Do you have a title of your post in your head, and from there the post writes itself? Or do you start with more of a formed thought and give it a title afterwards?

For me, it’s a little of both. This post, for example, the title came first. It was the first thought I had, and I felt like I could make it flow relatively easily from there.

Other times, I have more of a complete thought, or a feeling, rather than a shorter, incomplete thought. In those cases, I (attempt) to just let it flow. I often have no idea where it’s going to end up, and it can end up going somewhere I had no idea it might take me. The content sort of creates its own title at that point.

Sometimes my mind is going so fast and thinking about a million things at once, and I sort of get like…headline topics(?) I guess you could call it, and I’ll think of 5 great post titles at once, all about completely different things. When that happens, I write the title of what the post would be down, and go back to it later. Sometimes the post will write itself, but other times I’m no longer feeling the way I did when I first thought of it.

Tonight, for instance, I had just finished writing one post and went to take a shower (go shower thoughts!). All of a sudden I had like 3 or 4 great things to write about, (one of them being this one), so I just wrote them down and picked one to actually sit down and write.

Having a post already titled also helps in those moments when you’re in a rut and just aren’t sure what to write about. Having that already formed thought, the direction of what the content might be, that can be very useful.

In times of writers block and hardships, writing about writing is always helpful for me. And having those half complete thoughts ready for me to come back to is another tool I’m developing to help me through those times.

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