Talk about boiling things down to their essence. I recently learned of an interesting book called Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. Complied by the editors of online magazine SMITH, it contains over 1,000 six-word memoirs, including additions from many celebrities including Stephen Colbert, Jane Goodall, Dave Eggers, and more.
A few examples from the famous, particularly some that might appeal to writers:
"Couldn't cope so I wrote songs"
"Revenge is living well, without you"
Joyce Carol Oates
"I asked. They answered. I wrote."
The entries from the "obscure," a.k.a regular people, are equally good. Here's a sampling--some funny, some touching:
"70 years, few tears, hairy ears"
"Naively expected logical world. Acted foolishly".
"Never really finished anything, except cake"
"Joined army. Came out. Got booted.”
"Extremely responsible, secretly longed for spontaneity."
"Cursed with cancer. Blessed by friends" (from a nine year old)
"No wife. No kids. No problems"
“I like big butts, can’t lie”.
Can you tell your story in six words? SMITH is collecting submissions for their next six-word memoir book. It may be fun to give it a try.