I’ve always imagined that I would write a memoir of my life one day. As soon as it got really interesting. I’m not there yet. The other thing that holds me back is, well, hard work. Writing your life story would be a lot of work (at my age). It seems to me that it would be really hard to look back and re-examine ones life and re-hash some of those memories that weren’t always that pleasant the first time round. Plus I haven’t got a great memory so there is the fear that my memoir would come out very James Frey-ish.
But then I found the solution! I discovered SMITH Magazine. An online blog-a-zine. SMITH was founded by Larry Smith and Tim Barkow in 2006.
“When we launched SMITH Magazine on January 6, 2006, (National Smith Day, which we didn’t invent, but latched on to) the idea was to create a new kind of web magazine. The content would be largely user-generated, then curated by people who edit things for a living. It would be a bold new blend of the professional and the amateur, fueled by our populist, participatory mission: Everyone Has A Story.”
They decided to try giving life to Hemingway’s legendary six-word novel (For sale: baby shoes, never worn”)
“We combined the classic storytelling challenge with our passion for nonfiction confessionals and dubbed it “Six-Word Memoirs.” Then we called up some guys we met at a tech conference about this new thing called Twitter and asked if they wanted to partner up to send one daily short life story to anyone who followed our @smithmag feed.
Four years and more than 200,000 Six-Word Memoirs later, we continue to be blown away by what people are capable of saying in just six words, the ways that others have adapted the form, and — not to get all Chicken Soup-y here — the unexpected little gems and gifts that launching this project has brought into our lives.”
All of this has led to a best-selling book series, including Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak, Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure., and It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure..
I have the latest book “It All Changed in an Instant” and I’m really enjoying it. Some of the six word memoirs are funny, some are clever and some are sad. Here’s the thing though, once you start reading these you begin to think in six word stories. Here are a few that I came up with for my own life:
“Dinner’s ready. He’s still not home.”
“Life now revolves around my computer.”
“Instinctively always known; thoughts become things.”
“Kids grow up and leave. Ouch!”
“Secrets revealed when I started blogging.”
“Typing is easier than writing now.”
I could go on and on, but I’d really like to hear some from you! Share some of your six word stories. “Challenge yourself. It’s really quite fun!” (see what I mean…can’t stop!)
Here’s some more inspiration to get you started: