Monday, May 17th, 2010
When people ask me, “How was your day?” I never really know the straightforward, completely appropriate answer. “Good,” “bad,” and “okay” are too short. And I’m sure the person listening to you doesn’t want to hear you rattle off everything you did today.
One approach: answer in six words.
Inspired by SMITH’s Six-Word Memoir project, Austin Lafferty started a blog, A Year in My New Life…, about his recent college transfer and his journey at his new school at the University of North Dakota. Each day, Austin posts a new Six-Word Memoir. He writes about something that just happened to him (“Got dumped by a four year-old.”), how he felt about the whole day (“Noodles. Dave and Busters. Good Friday.”), or offer honest, reflective thoughts about himself. (March 23: “I need to learn to commit.”).
A self-proclaimed rambler, Austin said the Six-Word Memoir form forces him to be succinct. For Austin, the challenge lies in trying to “figure out how to remember an entire day in six words,” adding that “a lifetime can be looked back upon as one story with ups and downs, but one day has so many different things happening at once, many different stories occurring at once.”
Many of our SMITHTeeners—like Boredom Kills Dx , crippled soul, and LasVegas take this approach as well, treating the six-word form much like a daily, or even hourly, diary. Six-Word Memoirs have proven to be a thoroughly therapeutic tool to use when going through one of life’s challenges, whether transferring schools or just having a tough day.
In case you’re wondering, if Austin had to write a memoir about his whole life—as opposed to a single day—he said this Six-Word Memoir sums it up pretty well: “Well…it definitely hasn’t been boring.”