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Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith

1 min read

Originally published August 26, 2008

Basically, the premise of the book is if you could write a memoir in six words, what would yours be?

They were taking submissions from every writer: professional, non-professional, famous, and the not-so-famous. As I was reading it, I was laughing about how truly easy it was to sum your life up in six words. Some were extremely simple, some were heartbreaking, some were thought-provoking. I pulled these from the Amazon summary of it.

“Nobody cared, then they did. Why?” – Chuck Klosterman
“We still don’t hear a single.” – Adam Schlesinger
“I was a Michael Jackson impersonator.” – Keith Knight
“Cursed with cancer. Blessed by friends.” – Hannah Davies
“I still make coffee for two.” – Zak Nelson
“Most successful accomplishments based on spite.” – Scott Birch
“No wife. No kids. No problems.” – Rip Riley
“Mushrooms. Clowns. Wands. Five. Wig. Thatched.” – Amy Sedaris

I kind of saw the whole thing as a huge writing prompt, which was inspiring. That goes without saying!

I think – in a way – the book kind of gave me the idea that short fiction could be a Thing. Cramming your creativity by limiting yourself into a teeny-tiny physical space is freeing to me.

Yeah, I could write a novel. But why? That’s what this book meant to me.

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