What is your Six-Word Memoir?

Story By: Jeannie Batey & Cynthia Moreno

Imagine writing your personal memoir. The words offer a small peek into the truths of the inner soul. They are secrets that have been tucked away and locked in; words conjured up, while footsteps track the history of our lives. Each word defines our life, and strangers will read these words. Imagine the curiosity, the intrigue, and the speculation about the significance of each word contained within the memoir.

Imagine writing a few words about yourself that will be read throughout history, engravings of precious words that glow through the open window of the eyes. This everlasting emblem can be the personal landmark of your lifetime. Now imagine this memoir, or your life’s short summary, being told with only six words…

Ernest Hemmingway was challenged to write a story with only six words. He wrote, “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Authors called it Hemmingway’s best work.

The six word memoir popped up online in 2006 by a storytelling magazine called SMITH. Employees of SMITH deliberated with friends and co-workers and built up a contest where brevity was key. Readers were invited to submit their life story summed up in a six word sentence. Soon, SMITH had to sift through thousands of submitted stories.

Each sentence was a story; different and unique. Some were humorous and witty, like the one submitted by A.J. Jacobs, “Born Bald. Grew hair. Bald again.” And some of the stories harbored a feeling of pain or sorrow like Ronald Zalewski’s sentence, “Was Father, boys died, still sad.”

The contest gave hungry story readers and writers a chance to get their stories written and published. The winners were put in a six word memoir book called “Not quite what I was planning: Six word memoirs from writers famous and obscure.”

The book has thousands of memoirs from celebrities and inspirational public figures. Deepak Chopra, Joan Rivers, and Moby submitted their memoirs. People interested in reading these memoirs can visit www.sixwordmemoir.com. Writers are challenged by limiting the memoirs to only six words. The Rampage is looking for six word memoirs, so sit down and reminisce about the nostalgic moments throughout your entire life and submit your six word memoir to [email protected]