Posted by: Mark | March 22, 2010

Six Word Memoirs

I first heard about Six Word Memoirs about 3 years ago. I distinctly remember it: I was on a run along the Land’s End trail, which quite beautifully overlooks the San Francisco Bay, on a gorgeous sunny day, listening to an NPR podcast…and a piece came on from the guys at SMITH magazine who helped popularize the Six Word Memoir.

Since then, I’ve been a big fan. In the same way that I like Twitter for its restrictions on length, and the way it forces you to be creative in how to be dictionally efficient, I like Six Word Memoirs. Telling something pretty significant about yourself in only six words is no simple task, and yet I’ve assigned it to my students….without writing one myself. I know, it makes me a big hypocrite. Among the many reasons that I blog, I do so because I hope that it allows me to lead by example. I make my students write all of the time, so how convincing can I be if I am not practicing and honing my own craft?

I made a Prezi to introduce Six Word Memoirs. For those of you who don’t know what Prezi is, holy crap are you behind and do you need to learn about it, immediately. It basically makes Powerpoint look like it’s from the stone ages. It’s about as sexy as it gets when it comes to presentation tools, and forces you to be visually organized. I like it. Check out the Prezi itself by clicking this link (strike against Prezi is that it advertises that it can be embedded into blogs, but it appears that’s only true if you host your own blog, rather than have a blog. Zoinks!) to both get a better sense of what Six Word Memoirs are, and also to see Prezi in action.

So I’ve been thinking about my own Six Word Memoir, especially after my students came up with some pretty amazing ones. I’ve thought long and hard about my own, and I’ve decided that I can’t settle on just one. So I have two. I’m a cheater, I know. (Invalidates my whole “lead by example” load of crap from earlier.) I created one that is a visual, because some Six Word Memoirs come with visuals, and I’ve created one that is all text. I think they both sum me up pretty well. They’re supposed to stand alone without any explanation, so I won’t provide one.

The one with the picture:

And then, my six word memoir that is just text, albeit fancy text:

So there you have them. My two Six Word Memoirs. If you’ve been a fan of the concept, but haven’t written your own yet, why not leave a comment with your own. And if you want to get fancy and play with photoshop like I did, it’s even more fun. Not sure you can leave a .jpg as a comment though.



  1. Careful man there’s a beverage here

  2. I can’t see your prezi. Sad.

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