According to the literary legend, novelist Ernest Hemingway was once challenged in a bar to write a story in only six words. He wrote, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
If you were asked to sum up your life in six words, could you do it? I was challenged with this recently and it’s been an interesting exercise. I wrote a bunch of bios, then a bunch more. It was surprising how many I could come up with, some poetic, some funny, and some that resembled silly haikus. All of them a bit out of the ordinary, yet candid and concise.
Here’s one of them:
Artist trapped in civil servant’s body. ~ Beckie
After jotting down a dozen for myself, I took it further and extended the challenge to the Restless Writers and here’s what I got:
Strives for perfection, stymied by procrastination. ~ Maria
Writer wannabe, ‘cuz I hate housework. ~ Lori
Of course, I stumbled upon many more (like this) out there. The online magazine Smith asked its readers to do the same. The result was Not Quite What I Was Planning, a collection of six-word memoirs by famous and not-so-famous writers, artists, and musicians.
Here are a few of them:
No future, no past. Not lost. ~ Matt Brensilver
Catholic school backfired. Sin is in! ~ Nikki Beland
Well, I thought it was funny. ~ Stephen Colbert
Deceptively simple. Surprisingly addictive. The profound brevity of these bios leaves you knowing so much, and yet somehow leaves you wanting more. Give it a try, the experience of capturing real-life stories in six words is an insightful one.
What’s your six-word bio? We invite you to leave it in the comments section.