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Like A Box of Chocolates September 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.

IMGP1105bThe titles of blog posts can be misleading.

Titillating titles and teasers may grab our attention without holding it.

Great curb appeal may mask an empty shell:

Inside the vestibule, we encounter a veritable dumping ground of mish mash and pish posh with little rhyme or reason, almost as if the author tossed a bunch of unrelated thoughts into the air and allowed the hodge podge and hoi polloi to descend and settle willy nilly into disordered and discordant chaos and disarray.

Like so much falderal and fiddle dee dee.

If a post leaves me befuddled (because “the point” of the post is M.I.A.), I leave the pointless post, post haste.

Of course, the opposite also occurs.

On occasion, we stumble across a blog title so dumpy or frumpy that we lower our expectations before stepping across the threshold.

Why step inside at all?

Curiosity, perhaps. Β Or maybe the slim reed of hope that the dowdy exterior, like an oyster shell, houses a pearl of wisdom.


Sometimes, despite the gloomy interior heralded on the marquee, intrepid visitors are rewarded.

Instead of finding a warren of empty rooms, we encounter a brilliant flash of light as a veritable palace of jewels and gems opens before us.


What a delight when valuable insight awaits those who venture past a dingy signpost outside.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”Β ~ Forest Gump


1. Jill Weatherholt - September 11, 2014

I love coming up with titles for my blog posts, Nancy.
Ah…Forest Gump, one of my all time favorite movies. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

Me too! Sometimes I start with the title. Sometimes it arrives mid-write. Sometimes the post is done with the title un-begun.

When making blog rounds, it’s great when a title entices and the interior tantalizes further still.

2. Becky - September 11, 2014

Titles are my weakness.

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

I usually have a “working title” in mind as I write. Sometimes it sticks. Other times I tinker with it after completing the post. This one was untitled until the Forest Gump quote popped into mind.

3. NancyTex - September 11, 2014

And sometimes not only is the signpost dreary, but the interior is also in shambles. Those are the ones I run from quickly. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

The blogs I follow are fine on both counts ~ exterior curb appeal and feng shui interiors.

But when I venture “farther afield” (as I did after Robin Williams died) I am amazed by blog titles that promise one thing while delivering another. Or nothing at all. I don’t care for false advertising and I want a return on my investment of time.

NancyTex - September 11, 2014

Which brings up a question for me, something I’ve been struggling with. There are some bloggers who are very supportive with visits and comments that I want to (and do) reciprocate – but at times it’s painful to find something to say about content that is…light. What are your thoughts on this?

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

My favorite blogs are those where I’m full to overflowing with thoughts by the end of each post . . . so that I have to pick and choose which thoughts to share.

I also love posts where I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe (or I have to excuse myself to visit the loo).

The hardest posts for me are those that don’t resonate even after reading them twice:

* If I generally enjoy that blogger’s posts, I ignore the content and stick with a neutral comment: “Thanks for the share” or “Have a FUN day” or “Thanks for visiting SLTW.”

* If I find that repeat visits leave me with the same empty sense of not “getting” the content enough to contribute anything to the comment thread, I tend to stop reading that blog.

This happens most often with bloggers who are prone to whining about hangnails, who talk too much about “being saved,” or who share angst riddled poetry. πŸ˜›

If I didn’t “get” what you meant . . . let me know.

NancyTex - September 12, 2014

WP didn’t alert me to your response, but I just did a fly by on the hunch you had responded, and… you did! And…that’s exactly what I meant. Thanks for providing some validation that sometimes it’s okay to just stop reading if the content is consistently of the variety that doesn’t resonate. Merci, NH!

ps I wasn’t able to reply inline to your actual response. Probably a glitch with the WP app on my phone. Cheers!

nrhatch - September 12, 2014

Your comment is in perfect alignment . . . right where it ought to be. Spot on. πŸ˜‰

4. suzicate - September 11, 2014

When I first started blogging, titles stumped me…perhaps they still do and I don’t even know it, ha!

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

Ha! I have never scratched my head in confusion at one of your blog titles, Suzi.

In contrast, on occasional forays out into the blogosphere, I see enticing titles used as “lures” by cagey anglers with nothing inside the post proper worth reading.

5. valleygrail - September 11, 2014

Our worlds of blog, between “Here you leave today, and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy”, (thank you Mr Disney), and “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” (poor Dante). Please, pass the chocolates!

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

Part of the fun of blogs, life, and chocolate is the “never knowing what you’re gonna get” part. 😎

6. granny1947 - September 11, 2014

Oh good grief…I often have a whole heap of nothing to say…now I feel guilty!!!

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

Like Seinfeld, you do “nothing” brilliantly!

granny1947 - September 11, 2014

You are too kind…love you for it.

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

Mwah! :mrgreen:

7. In the Stillness of Willow Hill - September 11, 2014

Reading posts each day with an air of discovery, I find gems and….real people with real thoughts working their way through real life. I love how you celebrate the journey!

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

Thanks, Willow! It’s disappointing when we bite into a blog title expecting a “peach” dripping with juice . . . only to find dry fiber.

But that “air of discovery” makes it worth it more often than not.

8. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - September 11, 2014

I have such title issues – but more importantly, I’m positive that my blog is a mish-mash of ideas that were tossed from my head and landed on your screen! Too often does my blog post end up like that! πŸ™‚
Having said that – I do love finding the hidden gem in others blogs!

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

I find your blog “eclectic” in a fun way, Kate.

The mish mash posts I’m talking about are those that are trying to “prove a point.” Instead of building on their thoughts (from A to B to C), they bounce around, zig-zagging back and forth like a shadow boxer. Or they repeat somethings ad nauseum while leaving out key points essential to their position.

Then, after meandering here and there for what seems an eternity, they STOP short, without warning, leaving unfulfilled promises in their wake.

Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - September 11, 2014

I’ve totally run across those! That’s a good way to describe it! In fact, that’s exactly it – being left feeling unfulfilled! Like you sat through 1:45 min of the movie to discover there was no ending!

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

One of the funniest ones was a blogger that wanted to teach people the art of persuasion. Instead, they ran round in circles trying to catch the loose ends and tie them into a bow.

Um . . . no thanks.

9. ericjbaker - September 11, 2014

I once tried ‘Nude Pictures of Me” for a post title to lure readers. That was the only day in WordPress history when a blogger got negative clicks. Minus 312.


nrhatch - September 11, 2014

Bwahaha! Sometimes outlandish blog titles are so amusing that we forgive them their “misdirection.” πŸ˜›

10. Arlee Bird - September 11, 2014

It’s like the internet “news” sites. I’m often lured by a title that sounds very intriguing only to find the stupidest non-story that I could imagine. Some of those writers are actually getting paid for the crap they churn out.

A Faraway View

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

Yes! The internet “news” sites are the worst ~ and instead of posting 3 short paragraphs that could be scanned, they serve up videos (that say nothing of note) instead.

Now, if I open up a news article and see only a video, I just close the page and move on.

11. Barbara - September 11, 2014

To quote you Nancy, “…. a title entices and the interior tantalizes further still.” It’s a great quote and I love it when that happens – but sometimes it’s hard to get it just right.

nrhatch - September 11, 2014

Agreed. Sometimes a post falls flat . . . despite our desperate attempts to perform C.P.R. :mrgreen:

I loved your post today ~ sailing, sailing, watching the whales go by.

12. shreejacob - September 12, 2014

Love Forrest Gump…makes me cry every time. ..bitter sweet tears πŸ™‚
Well..never judge a blog by it’s title, I guess πŸ˜‰
I’m horrible at coming up with good titles. I just “write” my blog with what I want to say…in my own way and title it as “creatively” as I can, which isn’t too creative, then let it go. Learning to let it go with love now…not so much fear of what others may think.

nrhatch - September 12, 2014

Titles often draw in new readers. As long as a title isn’t horrible enough to scare readers away, it’s no biggie.

I’ve never “wasted time” reading or trying to decipher a “bad title.” I have wasted time wading through poorly written blog posts where the writer got bogged down in extraneous details (weeds) without ever planting real seeds.

Once I’ve made my escape, I’m disinclined to return.

13. Silver in the Barn - September 12, 2014

Oh, this was fun. Eric’s comment made me laugh out loud. Leave it to you, Nancy, oh observant and alliterative one, to come up with such a fun post…and a great title.

nrhatch - September 12, 2014

Thanks, Barbara. This post “arose” while I watched a Home Show. I began thinking about Curb Appeal outside hiding a disaster within and vice versa (dumpy outside, feng shui inside).

Then I thought about blog titles and interiors. And Forest Gump came to mind. So, without further adieu, I dumped and lumped it all together into this potage. Voila! 😎

Eric often has that effect on me. But I still don’t want to see his Naked Photos. πŸ˜›

14. Val Boyko - September 12, 2014

Curb appeal … exactly Nancy! I love this conversation… better than chocolates πŸ˜‰
Val x

nrhatch - September 12, 2014

It adds to the adventure when we don’t know what’s around the next bend . . . or inside the blog box.

15. diannegray - September 12, 2014

Some of my titles are like hard chocolates, Nancy πŸ˜‰

As for other bloggers – I find if I go to a post and spend however many minutes reading it and rereading it and rereading it I get very frustrated. I struggle sometimes and think ‘what is the point?!’ and if this happens a few times I stop visiting that blogger altogether. I guess it comes from years of working as a communications manager. Get to the point, I say!

But I love your posts. Always entertaining, full of wisdom and intruiging titles πŸ˜€

nrhatch - September 12, 2014

Thanks, Dianne! Right back at cha!

And I feel the same ~ if people don’t edit their posts for clarity, I don’t think it’s my job to muddle through waist high weeds to see if I can discern the intended intent.

16. jannatwrites - September 12, 2014

I struggle with titles. Trying to come up with something relevant that doesn’t completely give the post away (especially when it’s a story) drives me crazy!

nrhatch - September 12, 2014

I have never noticed a lack of curb appeal on your blog, Janna ~ and your interiors are the height of elegance with well chosen words.

17. livelytwist - September 14, 2014

If we keep writing enticing titles and even displaying beautiful photos without good content to match, I think readers will desert us eventually. But good content without an interesting title . . . Finding that balance, is worth working on.

Okay, I absolutely loved this, tickled me too πŸ˜€

a veritable dumping ground of mish mash and pish posh with little rhyme or reason, almost as if the author tossed a bunch of unrelated thoughts into the air and allowed the hodge podge and hoi polloi to descend and settle willy nilly into disordered and discordant chaos and disarray.

Like so much falderal and fiddle dee dee. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ tee hehe!

nrhatch - September 14, 2014

Thanks, Timi. I had fun with that paragraph. Once we’ve fallen in love with a blog’s content, we are not apt to desert it because of poorly worded titles, standing alone.

But, often, a clever title entices NEW readers to press CLICK to see if the blogger’s style clicks with their reading preferences. If we want new readers to stick around, we need to make it worth their while.

18. Tokeloshe - September 15, 2014

That is especially true when you subscribe to a blog and get email notifications.
I should work on better titles, especially for scrapbooking.

nrhatch - September 15, 2014

Your titles are fine, Tok. For me, the worst titles are “clever” titles that promise something that the content doesn’t deliver.

19. Three Well Beings - September 18, 2014

I think that titles are really tricky and I am rarely thrilled with mine. I admire those that really create a catchy and attractive title, but I have also had the experience of finding the chocolate box either empty or with a gooey center I don’t find satisfying. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - September 18, 2014

A misleading title is a “Click Tease.” They’re the worst because it’s usually a site that values STATS over interaction ~ “must have more clicks.” :mrgreen:

20. pix & kardz - September 19, 2014

i like the ‘pointless post, post haste’ πŸ™‚ clever use of words here, and a point well made. coming up with titles seems to be almost as fun/challenging as creating a post imnasho.
and i quite enjoyed Forrest Gump.

nrhatch - September 20, 2014

Thanks, Kris. Some of my post titles are “just the facts” ~> “Bagels” or “jalapeno Cornbread.” I saw no reason to gussy them up. But some posts deserve a bit more panache when crafting their outer garment.

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