Posted by: Chris Sandel | February 20, 2008

Six Word Memoirs

Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the challenge by asking readers for their own six-word memoirs. They sent in short life stories in droves, from the bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) and poignant (“I still make coffee for two”) to the inspirational (“Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah”) and hilarious (“I like big butts, can’t lie”).

I while back I heard about the challenge. I was kind of intrigued so I thought I’d try. One of my favorites is, “I am more than six words.”  Some of my thoughts as I considered this…

  • Orange and blue, through and through
  • Loved God, students and my wife
  • Honored God, Served Students, Loved Family
  • Faithfully loved Jesus, students and family
  • Humble…very, very, very, very humble! (I just thought that was funny) 

There are two ways to look at this. If I’m summing up my life to this point, I think I’d land on:  Illinois Boy. Minister Man. Someday Father?

I am also tempted though, to write what I would like mine to say when my life comes to an end. For that, I would say: Loved, Served, Faithful to the end

What about all of you?  How would you sum up your life thus far in exactly six words?



  1. well, I don’t know if I have one for summing up my life thus far,

    But I can sum up my day:
    Government sucks. Down with The Man.

    Why comply? “Because we said so.”

    shoot first. ask questions later. ( i know… that’s only 5)

    okay, more seriously… life… (this is a fun writing experiment btw… I think I’ll probably continue to keep thinking of one)

    Once aimless. Now heading towards something.

    Once many things, now One Thing.

    Once ran away, now running towards.

    That’s off the top of my head… fun, fun project…

    (And btw, I think Hemingway’s story is genius…)

    P.S. Did you know all the way down in the left hand corner of your template (on the screen in blue) is a little smiley face? It’s cute.

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