How much thought are you putting into the title of your memoir? Did you mull over some ideas and wait until you were satisfied with your title before you wrote the first word of a chapter? Or did you begin writing and sort of table the decision until some wonderful title dawned on you? There’s a third option. Maybe you did what a lot of people have done—called the darn thing “My Life” or “My Autobiography” and didn’t give it another thought.
I am surprised at how many notable people have chosen that third option. Consider that Bill Clinton authored My Life, as did actor Burt Reynolds and dancer Isadora Duncan. Golda Meir added her own name, so it became My Life By Golda Meir by Golda Meir. Charlie Chaplin wrote My Autobiography, Jane Fonda settled on My Life So Far and a pair of former presidents mirrored each other with the equally unoriginal The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge and The Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt.
Really? Is this the best we can do, folks? Apparently having a great creative mind doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll apply it to crafting a memoir title, since we have Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1, among others. Musicians? Johnny Cash published Cash: An Autobiography; Eric Clapton echoed with Clapton: An Autobiography. Check back next week for some memoir titles that make you laugh instead of groan.