The idea of headlines came up in our writer’s retreat last fall. The exercise was to write a headline to describe yourself, in nine words or less with enough punch to sell a newspaper. As is so often the case, my mind went blank.
Nine months later I thought of what I could wish to be an appropriate headline;
Woman lays waste our perception of what art is.
That wouldn’t be either accurate or true but in fact a bold-faced lie. I’m not sure it would even sell a paper.
The next one is truer but; well here it is,
Ageing woman’s aspirations at art ends in failure.
Or an alternative
Ageing woman’s explorations into art ends not with a bang but a whimper.
Now that might sell a paper or two, it has the drama of an explosion, the disaster we seem to like to experience at a safe distance as it happens to someone else.
But that end phrase is plagiarized from T.S.Elliot’s poem, The Hollow Men. Would the editor allow it?
After spending 30 years with her head in the sand artist finds enlightenment.
At thirteen words that is too long. But the enlightenment would look something like this; success is a relative term.
Artist makes success of life not art.
I guess that would be my headline, short enough and true, but is it interesting enough to sell a newspaper?
The best one would be,
The Artist on Fire. Unfortunately that was a title from a painting by Joyce Wieland, so probably not a good thing to copy.