just six words; make them count

Every year I teach a memoir unit and start it off with the The Six-Word Memoir: Encapsulate your life, or parts of it, in six words. Tell us what we should know about you in truncated, abbreviated form. Burn away the inessential fats and bare unto us your stringy sinew. 

Usually, a student will raise (usually her) hand and ask me for my own Six-Word Memoir. Turnabout being fair play, I do it. I give them ten:

  • I Live With It Every Day
  • PBS Body, NPR Mind, BBC Soul
  • Gonna Have To Rent a Truck
  • Desert, Ocean, Mountains, Forest, Tundra, Desert
  • Chubby, Skinny, Skinny, Chubby, Skinny, Strong
  • Just Smart Enough To Be Afraid
  • I Shouldn’t Drink On These Pills
  • Keep Walking, Straight Girl. Keep Walking.
  • In The End It Hurt More
  • It Made Sense At The Time
  • She’s Not Crazy; She’s Emotionally Interesting
  • Hi, Crazy. Hi, Crazy Crazy Crazy.
  • Kitty, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!

The ones I don’t share:

  • Got a Ladystick? No, I’ve Learned
  • A Dolphin In Her Tuna Net
  • I Can Taste Her From Here
  • Dammit, Autocorrect — Don’t Fix My Sexts
  • This Would Be My 17th Anniversary
  • You Can Make Me Feel Bad
  • This Is How I Lost Her
  • Google Search: When Does Fertility End?
  • With Her, I Finally Felt Beautiful

…Share some of yours?

9 thoughts on “just six words; make them count

  1. Wow, I’ll Never Do That Again.
    This Time, It Will Be Different.
    It’s My Politics, Is That It?
    I Look Butch, Not A Man!
    I Just Want You To Love Me.
    Sure, Butch Can Have Another Baby!

    (happy thanksgiving)

  2. She was my dream, in truth.

    Will you love me? Please, Miss?

    Forget it. I love me more!

    Fuck off. This is my life.

    This hurts for now, but soon…

    I am not what I was.


    I like squares, so there are 6 six-word memoirs. Thirty-six words with great meaning for me – and possibly me, alone.

    Thanks for sharing yours, Phona. You are a goddess.

    Love you!

  3. Didn’t have kids; now, dates them.

    Farmer’s market tears. Must make pie.

    Torn ACL. Can’t walk it off.

Comments are closed.