Monday, April 4th, 2011
Self-proclaimed “Six-Word Memoir enthusiast” Ananda Leeke has been bringing her community together through Six-Word Memoirs since 2008. This March, Ananda hosted a local DC She Writes Six-Word Meet-Up featuring DC poet Yael Flusberg. Last summer, Ananda gave an Ignite DC talk about the impact Six-Word Memoirs have had on her creative process. One of her Six-Word Memoirs, “Go Green Boho BAP. Urban Debutante,” was featured in our book It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. Ananda recently took a few moments out of her six-word filled life to answer six questions about herself. We hope to hear more from Ananda in the future, and look forward to seeing a photograph of her wearing her new SMITH Mag T-shirt proudly.
Where are you from?
I was born in Flint, Michigan and raised in Landover and Mitchellville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC.
What do you do for a living?
I am an author, artist, coach, yoga teacher, and innerpreneur. I am also a speaker, Reiki master practitioner, and artist-in-residence at Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts. I speak about women in social media, women’s issues, creativity, self-discovery, yoga, and Reiki healing touch.
As a Smith Farm artist-in-residence, I work with wounded warriors and their families on creative projects at the National Navy Medical Center.
When did you begin writing and why?
I started writing because my mother encouraged me to use my imagination and creativity in elementary school. Poems and greeting card messages were my first loves.
What kind of writing do you do?
I write poetry, novels, memoirs, and blogs that discuss art, music, creativity, self-discovery, women’s issues, culture, history, world travel, social media, nature, green living, yoga, spirituality, Reiki healing touch, social media, healing practices, volunteerism, career reinvention, and community service.
Why did you become a SMITH member?
I joined SMITH after attending a memoir writing workshop taught by author Lori Tharp at my church All Souls Unitarian Church in 2008. During the workshop, Lori discussed Six-Word Memoirs and gave the group writing exercises. I had a writing breakthrough during these exercises. They helped me overcome my writer’s block. I joined SMITH to keep the momentum going.
How have you used Six-Word Memoirs in your life?
After the 2008 memoir writing workshop, I started using six-word memoirs in my memoir writing. A few months later, six-word memoirs appeared as chapter titles, poems, and reflections in my book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery. When That Which Awakes Me was published in 2009, I started teaching workshops and giving talks about the power of six-word memoirs in my writing and self-discovery journey. I continue to use Six-Word Memoirs with my coaching clients and in my current writing project.