Not long ago, I took a shot at a meme called “Six-Word Memoir.” It was an intriguing challenge and far more difficult than it first sounded. If you don’t believe me, just try it.
Meanwhile, I just read about another memoir challenge of sorts in the current issue of AARP the Magazine. Leaping to the conclusion that most readers who happen by here are not AARP regulars, I’ll explain.
In the magazine’s “Skill Set” department, author Abigail Thomas insists “Everyone Has a Story to Tell.” She makes some good arguments for writing, based on the assumption that those of us of a certain age have survived enough years to have some material to work with.
Anyway, among her many suggestions for tapping your writer within (I’m not convinced everyone has an inner writer trying to get out) was this: “Take any ten years of your life and reduce them to two pages. Every sentence has to be three words long — not two, not four, but three words long.”
“You’ll discover there’s nowhere to hide in three-word sentences,” she says. Duh! Sweetie, try doing it in just six words.
No, I haven’t tried her suggestion. Just the thought of trying almost made me drop the magazine (yes, the actual printed-on-paper publication that comes in the mail and got shredded by the cat).
Seriously, if you are at all interested in writing, regardless of your age, it’s an interesting article. Ms. Thomas teaches writing and includes some of the exercises she assigns her students. Each assignment is just two pages and includes such things as write two pages of apologies, two pages about being cold, or two pages about taking your time. Lots of thought-provoking ideas, and two pages is just enough to prime the pump.
If you’re looking for something to blog about, Thomas’s article might give you a place to start. As for me, I’m still recuperating from the last 6 words I tried to write.