My First Click-Bait Title

What do you think?


I wrote this piece last spring and started sending it out this summer. It was about 6,000 words in length. One of the Narratively editors wrote to say they were interested in it if I could cut it down to about 2,500 words. So I did, and I signed a contract giving them the right to title it as they saw fit — pretty standard stuff for a non-academic publisher. My title, btw, was “Not My Heart.” Obviously not very click-bait-y.

The essay has been out for a few days, and it’s driven over 200 views on my webpage. So I’m not complaining  – just curious.

Reaction to the essay has been positive within my own network, but on Narratively’s Facebook page, there are a bunch of negative comments like “Disgusting!” I’m wondering if the title and the blurb below it are to blame – but of course, some readers might just be repulsed by my whole approach to self-revelation or to exploring the complexities of adoption.

I’d love know what you think. Does the title and the blurb below it draw you in, or put you off?

2 thoughts on “My First Click-Bait Title

  1. Hi Michele! I’m a creative writing student at Goddard College in Vermont. I also like writing on family/relationship dynamics. The title and blurb of your story drew me in because I knew there was going to be interesting content, but I did think it was a little tacky. “Not My Heart” is much better, but I don’t think it does your content justice either. Something in between, perhaps. Thank you for sharing your story!! I’d love to read the full version! Or even just talk about writing and fucked up families. Have a good week,


    1. Thanks for reading, Leah! I love Goddard — I got an MFA from Vermont College, a sort of cousin to Goddard, and later taught in the VC B.A. program (which no longer exists). One of my students at VC went on to get a Master’s at Goddard. He loved it there, and we had a wonderful time at his graduation.
      The full version of my essay is under consideration in another venue, but I will definitely share it with you once it’s available. I’d love to read some of your work!


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