Ernest Hemingway, memoir, writingErnest Hemingway was once challenged to tell a story in only six words. His response:  “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

I’m sniffling already, and it’s only a six-word story!

Since then, similar challenges have been thrown out in magazines, books, and blogs:  can you tell your life story in six words?

Well, can you?

Here’s a few I’ve come up with:

WHO IS THAT IN MY MIRROR?  writer, story, memoir

Well, that’s not my life story, but sometimes it’s what I scream to myself in the morning.


LIFE’S HARD, LOVE SOFTENS IT UP grandkids, love, family, memoir

Life IS hard, I think we all agree. But can you imagine how much harder it would be without your loved ones? Your friends, your spouse or significant other, your children or nieces/nephews? Since I’ve been old enough to wonder about the meaning of life, about why we’re even here, I’ve figured out that it’s all about the love.


That’s how I feel – like I’m 30 years old and having a heck of a time each day making it through my job, my joys, my fears, my … but wait. My son tells me he’s 30? How’d he catch up to me like that?

I love the title of a book that published six-word memoirs by “Writers Famous and Obscure” (2008) called Not Quite What I Was Planning.

I imagine that’s how most of us feel by the time we’ve reached a certain age. Are you nodding your head? Did you plan to be where you are, who you are, years ago? Doubtful!

Oh, here’s another one I just thought of:


Spoken like the empty nester that I am. Yes, Virginia, there is life after 50 (um, and even later!)

My turn now to challenge YOU. I dare you to send me (in the comment section) your six-word story or memoir.

Come on, you can do it!

6-word memoir


77 thoughts on “SIX WORDS, THAT’S ALL I NEED!

  1. I have 2 sentences that only work when they are together.
    Take a minute for your self.
    Give a lifetime to other people.


  2. Hi!
    Your blog post and challenge is one of the better writing ones I’ve read. And this is my 1st visit. I came because of a tweet on Twitter.

    Here I go:
    Too many bends in my road



  3. You won’t believe this, but today at “Old Home Day” there was a booth that posted peoples feelings about the day “in six words”! Here I go…Wishing every day was July 4th


  4. Do titles count? Aw heck.

    Pride goeth
    Slick fashion runway. Ten inch platforms.

    Buttery puppy belly and milk breath.

    You’re talking. Lemme hold the baby!

    Murder 101
    Empty pill ring, Empty glass. Thud.

    In imitation of a master
    For sale: wedding dress. Got divorce. 🙂

    I think that’s all I can think of for the moment! Great challenge.

    Here’s a whole site of them:

    Hope you have fun!


  5. I always thought the song ‘No milk today’ told a great story in three words. But that was not mine My stories start – Gone for a walk, back soon. Once it finished ‘hung up my boots twisted ankle’.
    Good game, it was fun writing.


  6. Dad wanted a boy …

    Only four words – summing up a deep sense of rejection, which led me to subtly sabotage my creative talents for decades. However, it also made me study subjects Joseph Campbell encapsulated in these words: ‘A myth is a public dream, a dream is a private myth.’ My novels deal with such themes.


  7. What fun to read your 6 word stories and to read your followers’ stories as well! I know when I was asked to write mine, I had a lot of fun trying to find ways of making it fit within the word limit (parameters often help creativity in a funny way, right?).

    So wonderful to have discovered your blog!


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