Your Life Story in Six Words

Can you tell your life story in six words? Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s famous six-word short story (“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”), that’s what SMITH magazine editors Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser asked their online readers in 2006. They have now collected a number of these six-word autobiographies and published them in the book, Not Quite What I Was Planning (notice the number of words in the title).

Here are some examples from the book:

Brought it to a boil, often. (Mario Batali, chef)
Couldn’t cope, so I wrote songs. (Aimee Mann, singer, songwriter)
Maybe you had to be there. (Roy Blount Jr., humorist)
Cursed with cancer. Blessed by friends. (9 year old Hannah Davies)
Struggled with how the mind works. (Steven J. Pinker, psychologist)
Nobody cared, then they did. Why? (Chuck Klosterman, journalist)
Well, I thought it was funny. (Stephen Colbert, comedian)
Revenge is living well, without you. (Joyce Carol Oates, author)
Woke up. Went back to sleep. (Anonymous)
No wife. No kids. No problems. (Rip Riley)
I still make coffee for two. (Zak Nelson)
Yes, you can edit this biography. (Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder)

Here was my first attempt: “God, family, church; Bible, music, books.” Not very creative, too much of a list, but it does capture the main influences in my life.

Next I tried this one: “Met Christ; married Rose; had boys.” This one is more event-oriented. It does capture the three primary events in my life, but it still seemed too cut and dry.

So I finally decided on this: “New creation in Christ – everything changes.” This one is based on my life verse and pretty much sums it all up for me. Christ entered my life and changed everything. Everything good I have in my life I owe to him. He is still changing me day by day, and one day I will stand complete in his presence. It doesn’t get much better than that.

How about you? Feel free to share your six-word autobiography in the comments section. And if you are really brave, you can also submit it to SMITH magazine for the next edition of their book. (I did! You can find it here: Six-Word Memoir by Ray Fowler)

MY LIFE VERSE:  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)


  1. Sharon Gamble says:


  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Sharon – Excellent! Anyone else want to give it a whirl?

  3. Barrie says:

    Blessed by God, saved by Jesus

  4. Sharon Gamble says:

    Barrie – I like yours better. The theology is more developed. 🙂 Wish I’d thought of it…!!

  5. Here I am. There I’ll go.

  6. Margaret says:

    Only six words? I’m woman! Impossible!

  7. Donna C. says:


  8. Margaret says:

    England, Born Again. America, Christian family.

  9. Donna C says:

    Ray, I thought of another one

    God,on my knees,grace,thanks

  10. Ray Fowler says:

    Barrie – Amen, brother!

    Phil – See you there!

    Margaret (1) – Hilarious!

    Donna C. (1) – You go, girl!

    Margaret (2) – I am privileged to share in your story!

    Donna C. (2) – I like it!

    Anyone else?

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