The list of titles that didn't make it
2023-01-07 18:00:00 +07:00 by Mark Smith
Several weeks ago now I started a new section in my newsletter which I've ended up calling the "list of titles that didn't make it". It has it's origin in a list I had been keeping every week of possible titles for the newsletter. At the end of the week I would read through the list and pick one, or sometimes disguard the entire list and go with something totally different. At least with a list I can remember a lot of the interesting topics that I spent time reading, listening and thinking about.
One week I was struggling to find a title, and I think I was rushed for time, and the week had been going so terribly that in a sort of burst of exasperation I just thought, well fuck it post the whole darn list, which I think, in it's own way, was quite illustrative of the moment.
So I did, and I immediately felt a lot better. A weight off my mind.
The next week, I did the same thing again, and kept doing it. The list rapidly turned into a place where I was venting frustrations and worries, but also a place where I was exploring thoughts and ideas. I don't think it has completeky settled into something concrete yet. It varies week to week. I often look back at them and wonder what the f I was thinking or doing at the time, but I just post it anyway, warts and all.
Sometimes the entries are real title candidates, but other times it's more like a sentence or a short paragraph that I don't have any intension of turning into a title, but they usually express something I think is in some way important. I don't edit them, and only occasionally remove some. They are often cringey, controversial and risqué. They don't necessarily convey my point of view, often just taking the form that they popped into my head. They could be from any point of view, and often are meant to get the reader, which includes future me, to think about certain aspects of an idea that are new or unnexplored. Sometimes they are humorous, other times very serious, or a mixture.
They have so far been overwhelmingly dark. There's a lot of turmoil both in the world and in my life at the minute and it's definitely showing in the lists. I'm going to keep doing them, because it's helping me deal with the crazy world, but it's also a bit of a barometer of the present moment that perhaps some find interesting. If you don't like them, feel free to skip over them.
Now you know what those wierd lists are.