Getting Micro-Creative, Part 2

I’m still thinking about 6-word stories, which I discussed in my last post. I found this amusing video of author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) giving a reading for Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak. He talks about being asked to come up with a 6-word story to describe every one of his romantic relationships just an hour before a radio interview. Handler rose to the challenge, and shares his quickly composed stories here:

I love how his tiny stories form a larger picture of his relationship history. And it got me thinking about creating numerous groups of 6-word memoirs on specific topics. I can imagine a small book filled with these, each chapter giving a concise remembrance of a part of the author’s life.

These little morsels pack a punch, because they include a lot of information in a condensed package (an entire relationship in six words). I think this could be a fun creative exercise. Easy, even, if done in tiny bites. So I’m planning to make this an occasional project for myself, something I work on when I need a little “no pressure” creative moment.

Here are the mini-memoir topics I’ve come up with for my project so far. Feel free to use them if they inspire you:


  • Stories people/family members tell about your childhood.
  • Childhood triumphs.
  • Childhood challenges.
  • Each family member.
  • Every pet.
  • Every place you’ve lived—house, apartment, town, city, country.
  • Every significant romantic relationship.
  • Every significant friend.
  • Every significant enemy.
  • Moments of growth.
  • Failures.
  • Successes.
  • Every job—paid or unpaid.
  • Who you wanted to be but turned out not to be.
  • Unexpected twists and turns in life.
  • Holiday memories.
  • Meaningful keepsakes/objects you’ve owned.


  • Every car owned and where it’s taken you.
  • Vacations.
  • People you miss.
  • People who influenced you—in both good ways and bad.
  • People you’ve influenced—in both good ways and bad.
  • Teachers, good and bad.
  • Betrayals.
  • Joyful moments.
  • How other people see you.
  • Hidden moments of your life.

I’m sure the list could go on and on. I’d love to hear any other ideas.

Copyright @ Sandy Ackers, Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World,


9 Responses to “Getting Micro-Creative, Part 2”

  1. 1 Rochelle Ritchie Spencer June 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Darn – I wish I had read your post before I met my friend at a cafe for some “creative” time. I just stared at a blank page and scribbled. Another good idea Sandy!

  2. 2 stranglingmymuse June 13, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks, Rochelle!

  3. 3 eatlivetravelwrite June 15, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    I love it Sandy – lots of inspiration there!

  4. 4 stranglingmymuse June 15, 2009 at 7:04 pm


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