Title Anxiety

Several times I’ve wanted to title something one thing, but have realized or been persuaded it isn’t a good idea. I’ve known for a long time that there isn’t a copyright on titles, but still . . . do I want to get into the confusion that causes? (Also, I’m rarely good at it. For years, Roger Angell, my editor at The New Yorker, titled most of my stories.) I mention this because while I don’t begin a story with a title in mind 95% of the time, I have anxiety about coming up with one, and when I do, it will often have been taken. So there it is: inherent title anxiety. It floats like a dark cloud over the story that does not yet exist.