Brevity thrust upon me: be afraid.

Did I mention my professor is really good at getting me writing?  About a month ago she was telling us about this thing called six word stories. This was something I had heard about before but completely forgotten, which is quite a shame because it’s incredibly cool. Basically, is a collection of short stories consisting of just six words. As the creator of the website explains, it was inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s famous challenge and first six word story, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Some of these stories say so much with so little: “Born a twin; Graduated only child.” “You’re not a good artist, Adolf.” “The smallest coffins are the heaviest.” “Found true love. Married someone else.” These are powerful words. Also? Depressing. Obviously brevity can be a good outlet for sadness and tragedy and grief, and that’s a good thing. I suppose in dark times when it seems like there’s no words at all, you’ve got to cling to any that you can find.

But I’m an optimist. An optimist who’s lived a pretty happy life so far. An optimist who does not do brevity well. At all. Ever. Why use six words when you can use 600? So when challenged to write not just any story but my life story in six words, I was pretty stumped. There were just too many words. So many words! And when I finally did write one, to my utter dismay, it was horribly depressing. That’s just not me. I refuse to believe that at our core, when everything in our lives is stripped away to the six most important words that define our true self, we are destined to tell sad stories.

So I’ve decided to take baby steps. I’m not ready to tackle my whole life in six words, but maybe I can take a stab at a few pieces of it here and there. In theory it would be a good way to write a quick blog post when I don’t have a lot of time, but I know in reality that brevity usually takes more time than my normal babble.

With all that said (and isn’t it just like me to take nearly 400 words to introduce a six word story), here is today’s six word story: “Assembled tiny starships. Accumulated vast joy.”


And aren’t I a little cheater for adding in a picture?



About The 1st Draft

I am a 30-something English teacher living in the Midwest who loves books, television, soccer, a good conversation, Cardinals baseball, and playing with my adorable nieces and nephews.
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2 Responses to Brevity thrust upon me: be afraid.

  1. unclelawwy says:

    I think the six word story is intended more as an epitaph than a description of present or future states. I’ve written mine… “Sorry. I wish I’d been kinder.”

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