Your Life in Six Words

By Joanne Guidoccio

Whenever I attend workshops, I take note of any icebreakers. While some participants may groan, I find these short, introductory exercises very effective in creating community and stimulating creativity.

One of my favorites is the “Six-Word Memoir,” a spinoff of the challenge once given to Ernest Hemingway: Write a story using only six words.

His reply was quick and succinct: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

In November 2006, Larry Smith, founder of SMITH Magazine, asked his fans to describe their lives in exactly six words. Intended to be a one-month contest, the project took on a life of its own. Since that time, Smith has received millions of responses, from the hilarious to the bittersweet to the inspirational. You can find out more here.

At the workshop where I was first introduced to this project, the facilitator shared the following examples:

“Married by Elvis, divorced by Friday.”

“I still make coffee for two.”

“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends.”

And these from celebrities:

“Seeking the fullest expression of self.”  Oprah Winfrey

“Healed with steel, then got real.”   Dr. Mehmet Oz

“Me see world! Me write stories!”  Elizabeth Gilbert

“The miserable story leads to royalties.”  Frank McCourt

“Fear not, live in the now.”  Goldie Hawn

“Secret of life: family, friends, bacon.”  Katie Couric

“Divorce your story, marry the truth.”  Tony Robbins


Here’s my six-word memoir:

“Enjoying the process of reinventing myself.”


Any other six-word memoirs out there?


Where to find Joanne Guidoccio

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25 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeannie Hall says:

    Reblogged this on Jeannie Hall Suspense and commented:

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jeannie Hall says:

    Love this, Joanne! Mine would be:

    Empowering others to live happier lives. 😃

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Jeannie, Love your memoir…so inspiring! Thanks for reblogging. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Vicki says:

    Hi, Joanne! I have no clue what words I’d choose. I’m going to tell Handsome about this. Thanks!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Definitely a thought-provoking exercise. Thanks for dropping by, Vicki 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kathryn Jane says:

    LOVE this post! Thanks for provoking deep thoughts so early in my morning 😀
    I have six words for my “now,” and a different six words for other “stages” in my life.
    Now: “Bringing smiles and laughter to others.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is a great post, although now my word count will be down as I ponder my 6 words!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Good to see you here, Veronica. Good luck with the memoir! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Lovely memoir…thanks for sharing, Kathyrn 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post! I think mine would be: Take time to smell the roses 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. mrsnnnlight says:

      That’s a great one for you, Jacquie!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol, yes. I’m outside doing just that right now 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author and commented:

    A thought-provoking post from our Sisterhood of Suspense friend, Joanne Guidoccio. Do you have six words to sum up your life?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reblogging, Jacquie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey, Joanne. I love the get acquainted activities. Boy this one is really tough. Will have to give it some thought. I’ve shared. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing, Marsha 🙂


  8. mrsnnnlight says:

    Wow, what a thought-provoking exercise and a great icebreaker.

    I love your memoir, Joanne.

    Mine would be: Like a phoenix, risen from ashes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mrs. N, Love your memoir…so appropriate! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mrsnnnlight says:

        Thanks so much! 🙂


  9. Harbans says:

    Life goes on despite pin-pricks.
    Life without challenges is obviously monotonous.


    1. Thanks for sharing…Especially like the first one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Harbans says:

        Pleasure is mine. :))


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