- Slides: 15
SIX WORD MEMOIRS
A memoir is a story based on a personal memory A six-word memoir is one of those personal stories, but told in only six words. That means you must choose your words PRECISELY so your memoir has as much meaning as you can squeeze into those few words.
Important to remember… This isn’t about just coming up with a clever sentence or personal motto (i. e. , “I love going to the mall!” or “live life to the fullest everyday!”) It must be six words that hint at a much larger, more intricate story
…the idea stems from a literary legend… Ernest Hemingway was once asked to write a story in six words. His response: For sale: baby shoes, never worn.
Some examples: Frequently standing in my own way. Cranky. Tactless. Weary. Love my life. Watching quietly from every door frame. Savior complex makes for many disappointments
Almost a victim of my family. Mom died, Dad messed us up. Painful nerd kid, happy nerd adult. Family lost to lies, not death. Hit by car; unplanned flying lesson. Ill-fated music career averted by baby.
Not who I wanted to be. Didn’t feel like fighting them anymore. I’ve already turned into my mother. Waiting indefinitely for life to begin. Backstage is as drama-filled as on.
HOW DO I WRITE ONE? ? ? FIRST…. START WITH A LIST List as many words as you can about yourself - things you do, things you like, feelings you have. Don’t edit, cross out, change, or rewrite anything. Don’t worry about spelling - just write. You are going for quantity, so write as much as you can in about three minutes.
MY LIST Mom, teacher, writer, reader, happy, tired, tennis player, overworked, big family, sea shore, music, lots of music, sleep, walking, running, biking, t. v. , daughters, sisters, dreamer, thinker, laughing, lots of laughing, eating
…now circle the two or three words that stand out for you, the ones that you could say more about. Mom, teacher, writer, reader, happy, tired, tennis player, overworked, big family, sea shore, music, lots of music, sleep, walking, running, biking, t. v. , daughters, sisters, dreamer, thinker, laughing, lots of laughing, eating
Pick one item and freewrite about it That means just start writing about that idea, object, role, or event. The only rule is don’t stop writing for at least two minutes. Whatever comes to mind is fair game.
MY FREEWRITE I’ve been a mother for 24 years and have free daughters. I love and miss my daughters so much since they are all off at school. I have learned that being a parent is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I am not only responsible for myself but also for the lives of three other people. I can only control so much of what they do and no matter how much I think something is right or wrong, they will end up doing what they want. Sometimes they are right, but sometimes they aren’t so right. Then it hurts, especially when they have to pay for choices that I might have been able to help them avoid.
SYNTEHSIZE Now that you have a sense of your topic, synthesize it into a phrase that captures the essence of what your topic means to you. My topic is “mom. ” My idea is the struggle of helping someone go through life’s lessons and dealing with my own lack of control.
MY SIX-WORD MEMOIR Helping them grow ages me daily.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN… 1. Create a “YOU” list - fill the page 2. Pick 2 -3 items that inspire you to say more 3. From those items circled, select one 4. Freewrite about it for at least two minutes 5. Develop a six-word phrase that captures a sense of your writing.