I was driving up the mountain last night after a meeting in Denver and listening to NPR. It was just about the time the BBC News was on. I’m a sucker for BBC news. I especially love the human interest stories. Something about the dry British wit of the reporters has me chuckling in my car every time. Last night’s story was a take-off on a project that’s been happening for several year. In the mid-2000s the online magazine Smith asked readers to write a memoir in six words or less.
Smith based this experiment on an old story. Supposedly Ernest Hemingway was asked to write a full story in six words or less. His response:
For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.
Smith magazine took a page from Hemingway and has since published a book filled with six-word memoirs such as:
Fifteen years since last professional haircut – writer, Dave Eggers
Couldn’t cope so I wrote songs – singer, Aimee Mann
Well, I thought it was funny – comedian, Stephen Colbert
The British reporter last night put a slight spin on this concept. Her challenge was to answer the question, “Why do you do what you do?” This was from a professional perspective, so in essence, why do you participate in your chosen career. Her point was that many of us fall into our professions without too much thought. Maybe astrophysicist didn’t work out so you became a banker. All the stripper poles were full, so you were forced to become an award-winning writer.
This challenge got me thinking. Why do I write? I took a stab at really analyzing how I became a writer. Here are the best four:
Telling people’s stories well is rewarding
Followed husband’s job; writing travels well
Perfect descriptive phrase makes me giddy
Always wanted to. Finally realized how.
Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment and tell me in six words or less “Why Do You Write?” I’m sure we’ll have some great responses.