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It seems the whole world has gone six-word crazy. Couples can join the craze, be creative and show each other how much love inspires on this Valentine’s Day.

Inspiration for Six-Word Memoirs

The idea of the six-word “book” or memoir originated with Ernest Hemingway. Known for his brevity and for being succinct in his writing, he boasted he could write a novel in six words. This is what he came up with: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Those few words tell a tale of sadness, but they inspired Smith Magazine to begin a search for six-word memoirs from writers, “famous and obscure.”

The first book, Not Quite What I was Planning (Harper Perennial) edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith, was a huge success, making the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks. It told tales of love found and love lost, of lives torn apart and brought together, of drama and tragedy, and of lives fully lived, all in six words. Life stories distilled.

Even Newsweek got in on the act. It now carries a section for writers to sum up the stories they’ve read in six words. Now in its new re-formatted version the magazine solicits six-word comments on the topic of the week. Thousands have written in and several are published in each edition.

Love Life in Six Words

The second book, Six-Word Memoir on Love & Heartbreak (Harper Perennial) also edited by Fershleiser and Smith, was a success too and focused exclusively on tales of lovers and of love lost and found. It is touted as “five hundred love stories, all in one book,” by the Smith Magazine website. The tales are sad: “It hurts worse in French” – Derek Pollard. And uplifting: “At twelve found soulmate, still together” – Nancy Miner. All creative and clever and inspiring. Putting together a little gift basket with the book, chocolates and of course flowers would certainly show a boyfriend or girlfriend he or she is special. But, writing personal six-word memoirs about the relationship would be even better.

Love Poem in Six Lines of Six words

It can be daunting, to write six-word “sweet-nothings.” Here is how. Couples should think about words describing feelings for that special person and write them down. It could be: “You make me feel so ________” (special, loved, inspired, fuzzy) whatever is personal to the couples relationship. Or it may be some act that is unique to just her . “You always kiss me good night.” To continue with the theme six lines of six words works well.

Yes, the whole world seems to have joined the cause of summarizing life and love in six words, but couples can join and still have it unique to their love. “I know you can do it!”