Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

crowd-sourcing and ‘no’ as a learning tool

poetry 2

photo via google

I’ve been working on a book manuscript for ages. Recently, however, it’s taken on immediacy, as I want to get it in the mail today. There’s one rather large problem: no title.

Yep, I haven’t a clue what to call this labour of love, craft, frustration and confusion.

So I did what any artist these days can: I crowd-sourced. There are some of the best of poets on my FB, so I sent ’em a message, and asked for input on the titles I’m considering.


What did we do before technology? When people moved in wagons — or even trucks — half-way across the country? How did we feel connected? Letters — as I mentioned before — are wonderful. But they take time. And telephone calls are clunky when there are more than 2-3 folks.

photo via google

photo via google


My friends are all over the place, of course: Colorado, Kansas, Missouri. On vacation here & there, too. And all over the place for titles, as well — only quasi-agreement. But that’s useful too.

What I’m learning as I study beginner’s heart is that even ‘no’ — or a negative of some sort — is helpful; it’s informational. Response of any kind provides clues to what I think/ want/ should do. My husband says to imagine how you would feel if you didn’t have to do something, or if you did. That’s a similar kind of clue.

Hence the crowd-sourcing. My wonderful writer friends confirmed that some of the titles I considered were clunky. Or too ‘poetic’ (the kiss of death for real poets, I assure you). And since they’re all reasonably familiar w/ my work, they had other suggestions, all helpful.


A very dear old friend — gifted in her own write — contributed several useful insights. And it’s all going to require time to digest… In other words? The MS probably won’t get out the door today, after all.

And that’s just fine. The whole point to consulting a crowd is to get lots of opinions. Now I just have to figure out how best to use them. A task best accomplished by applying seat to chair. :)

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