From Off My List: A Six Word Experience Begins

Six Words Logo

Now I Obsessively Count the Words”

                        -Larry Smith

Books have always been a very favorite gift- actually a very favorite, period.  I’ve been having a lifelong affair with them.  Over the years, I’ve either lent or gifted enough books to fill a city library.  Many of the wonderful books I’ve received have totally inspired me.  One particular book inspired me to learn to bake, another inspired me to make an important lifestyle change.  But one day awhile back, I was gifted a unique little book from a dear friend that strongly inspired me to do something I frequently fantasized about:  trying my hand at writing creatively online.

The mere title itself was immediately intriguing.  Not Quite What I Was Planning:  Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. So many questions ran through my head.  Could 6 words really describe an entire life?  Which famous writers were able to edit their stories down to only 6 words?  Which obscure writers accomplished such a feat? One night after shortly after opening it on my birthday, I read the whole thing.  And then started over and immediately read it again.

Many of the memoirs were funny:


Some were pretty sad:


All were revealing and unsurprisingly… inspirational.  I jumped online to check out the publisher’s website (  There I discovered I could open an account and begin submitting my own 6 word stories (102 of them to date).  Instantly hooked, I grew increasingly obsessed with summing everything up in 6.

As Larry Smith tells it, according to legend it all began when a famous writer was challenged to write a story in six words:


Inspired by the online challenge posed by 6 Word editors Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser: Say it in Six- Share Six Words on Love & Heartbreak”, I posted my very first attempt at my own 6 word memoir on

Lisa's 1st 6

It described a time in my life well before I met my husband. Having lived the single life until 40, I could certainly come up with a veritable plethora of words describing both love and heartbreak.  Plus after coming up with the first one, shortly thereafter they came pouring out of me.

Rachel and Larry

Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith

Soon after learning that Larry and Rachel were planning to follow up the New York Times Bestselling paperback book version of “Not Quite What I Was Planning” with a second paperback, I decided I would not stop until one of mine got published.  And proceeded to throw myself wholeheartedly into it, obsessively counting the words.

More on what happened next to be posted here next week 🙂

©2017 Lisa Ihnken All Rights Reserved, except where noted

One thought on “From Off My List: A Six Word Experience Begins

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s