Six Words to One Story

cover of six-word memoirs 2013 daily calendar

Here’s an exercise for our creativity muscles: write a memoir in six words.

No more, no less.

Six words to tell a story.

Hmmm. Lemme think about this for a bit…

I first learned of this in Pam Grout’s new book, Art & Soul, Reloaded. As an example, she shares the story of Ernest Hemingway once being asked to write a full story in six words.

He wrote: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Jerry Mouse on a stage in tails taking a bow.

Well done.

For creative inspiration, we could turn to Not Quite What I Was Planning, an entire collection of six-word memoirs. If you don’t happen to have that book handy, try their website Here’s a few to help get our own creativity on:

Author Dave Eggers: Fifteen years since last professional haircut.

Singer Aimee Mann: Couldn’t cope so I wrote songs.

Comedian Stephen Colbert: Well, I thought it was funny.

And my current favorite, from Deepak Chopra’s son: Soul’d out so I could prophet.

So let’s give this particular creativity craft a try. We’re not required to be profound, or even truthful. We’re only encouraged to participate. To say Yes.

I can’t wait to see what comes from that.


Pet care through homemade dog food.

First fire in the woodstove today.

Turned work into play and thrived.

Ease and joy is for everyone.

Shark swimmer now plays with dolphins.

Gave up TV, never been happier.

Tries too hard, cares too much.

Twenty years, two kids, and then…

Decided to feel good, then did.

Late bloomer, hidden treasure; gloriously radiant.

Live life as an open question.

Should’ve slept when the baby slept.


None of those are quite right yet, but they’re certainly not any bit wrong.

How about you? What six words can you entwine? Add them in the comments below. And Keep saying yes, life gets awesomer.

Be you. You are awesome.

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