Your Life in Six Words

Book Cover of 'Six-Word Memoirs'

From Ms. Mix & Bitch:  If I never looked in the mirror again, I’d have proof I’m getting older because I like to listen to NPR.  Not that NPR’s for “old people,” but if you prefer talk radio to rock-n-roll while you drive, you’re definitely not hanging with the hipsters anymore.  

I’m actually o.k. with that (considering I listen to my iPod fairly often and I do, duh, run a quasi-music site).  I love NPR because there are stories here you can’t get anywhere else. I’m a big fan of the alternative press because I think they’re the few still looking out for the soul of journalism.  The rest of it is a corporate press release and not much more. 

Anyway, I’m getting off topic here….bloggers do this ALL the time… 

In fact, we tend to rattle on and on at length quite often, a by-product of being reared in a narcissistically oriented culture I suppose.  I am guilty of this. That said, I am still fascinated by those who use the brevity happy formats of Twitter, the Facebook status, and now what you’ll read below – the Six Word Memoir – to express themselves.  I thought you’d get a kick out of the examples below.  As for me, I admire the laconic – those who pack a  punch with seemingly little.  Perhaps I’ve lived with Mr. Mix for too long, but I now consider such skills definite proof of higher intelligence. 

Here’s mine, not that you asked:  Woman with revolutionary heart, haphazardly contained. 

More Six-Word Memoirs:

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February 3, 2010

Once asked to write a full story in six words, legend has it that novelist Ernest Hemingway responded: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”In this spirit, Smith Magazine invited writers “famous and obscure” to distill their own life stories into exactly six words. It All Changed in an Instant is the fourth collection of very, very brief life stories from Smith. The tiny memoirs are sometimes sad, often funny — and always concise.  

It All Changed in an Instant is full of well-known names — from activist Gloria Steinem (“Life is one big editorial meeting”), to author Frank McCourt (“The miserable childhood leads to royalties”), to actress Molly Ringwald (“Acting is not all I am”).  

Larry Smith, founding editor of Smith, and Rachel Fershleiser, Smith‘s memoir editor, talk to NPR’s Rebecca Roberts about the fun and the challenge of capturing real-life stories in six little words.  

Smith’s six-word memoir? “Now I obsessively count the words.” And Fershleiser’s: “Bookstore to book tour in seconds.”  

Can you write your autobiography in one sentence? Share your six-word memoir.  


More six-word memoirs from It All Changed in an Instant:


Found on Craigslist: table, apartment, fiance.
Becki Lee  

Alzheimer’s: meeting new people every day.
Phil Skversky  

Met wife at her bachelorette party.
Eddie Matz  

Family portrait: everyone smiles but me.
Ian Baaske  

Hotel sex still rocks over fifty.
Marcella Oleksiuk  

I picked passion. Now I’m poor.
Kathleen E. Whitlock  

Normal person becomes psychotic on Twitter.
Robin Slick  

Yale at 16, downhill from there.
Anita Kawatra  

Overworked and underpaid,
Oversexed and underlaid.
Victoria Hansen  

After cancer, I became a semicolon.
Anthony R. Cardno  

At least I never voted Republican.
Tony Kushner  

Full circle: morgue tech becomes obstetrician.
Andrea Skorenki  

So would you believe me anyway?
James Frey  

Excerpted from It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure from Smith magazine, edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith. Copyright 2010. Reproduced with permission of the publisher, Harper Perennial.  


One response to “Your Life in Six Words

  1. Needs advice about too many things.

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