I must have slept through 2008 when a very cool book was published, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs from Writers Famous and Obscure.  It is exactly as the title states, a compilation of memoirs from writers describing themselves or their lives in just six meaning-packed words.  No, we’re not talking about those silly abbreviations popular with texters.  R U 4 real?  It’s about the ability of the writer to express who they are or what they do as concisely as possible.  The origin of the short-short biography may have come from Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”  Now that’s powerful writing.  The words are chosen perfectly and evoke emotion from the reader. Another great example comes from  Steven Colbert: “Well, I thought it was funny.”  Great stuff!  

The book seems to have taken on a new life in 2010 because everywhere I turn, I am hearing someone describing something in six words.  The descriptions are meant to be thought-provoking and deep, or whimsical and funny, or just the plain truth. I don’t think it’s as easy as it looks to create something meaningful and clever because a lot of the six-word descriptions are pretty boring.  I tried to write mine and quickly felt defeated in my lack of creativity as well.  My first pass was: “Always Loved Animals, Wanted to Write.”  Snore!!  But true.  Or maybe: “Old Dogs, Best Dogs, Bring More;” “Puppy Mills Suck, Tell the World.”  I like those. 

I felt the same challenge when I tried to give my book a title.  A book title needs to grab the potential reader but not be so obtuse that the reader doesn’t know what the book is about.  That’s why I really like my book’s title: Puppy Mill Dogs SPEAK!  Short, concise and hopefully conveys what the book is about and compels you to read more.  We’ll see when the book comes out in a couple of months! 

How about you?  Will you share your six-word memoirs with the world? Please leave a comment with your clever creations!

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