This week I decided on a working title for my memoir: Missing Sadie, Missing Myself: Memories of a Childhood. Following the advice of one of Nina Amir’s guest bloggers on, 'Write Nonfiction in November' (she does post all year long), I even added it as part of my email signature. By promoting my book before it’s finished, let alone published, I hope to interest future readers.
Brainstorming possible titles or phrases forced me to focus on my central themes. Was my book about following Mother’s dream or was it about how an immigrant family assimilated? Was it about losing myself or finding myself?
I shared my ideas with my writing group. They gave me their suggestions and I settled on the one above. I like it. The Missing Sadie part expresses my longing for my childhood home on Charles Street, the rooming house with its cast of characters who were like my extended family. The Missing Myself part expresses my feelings of dislocation in the suburbs and how I lost my grounding when I was yanked from my old neighbourhood. These two parts sum up most, but not all, of my story.
I searched for similar titles on Amazon and found very little about 'Sadie', mostly children’s stories, and nothing about 'missing myself'. The wording is sufficiently different to distinguish the book from self-help books about 'finding yourself'.
The title I chose is not too long or too short. It’s not too cute or too weird. It conveys an emotion. I like the repetition and alliteration. The words focus on the important themes in my story and not on the parts I don’t wish to highlight.
My working title may change later. For now I’m happy with my choice and proud to tell people the title of my book.