I spent last weekend having my brain re-wired. Since March, I’ve been enrolled in the Institute of Communications Agencies‘ Executive CAAP West Program. It’s for people who want to pursue or continue careers in communications and advertising, and so far it’s been a wild and rewarding ride.
This past weekend, we finished the first of two terms — ending with a session on brainstorming, ideation, and big ideas. The whole weekend was facilitated by Leslie Ehm. Leslie’s worked in the ad industry as a copywriter and creative director. Now, she works with organizations to teach them some of the things she showed us tonight, and presentation skills on top of that.
One of the key takeaways from this weekend — and every weekend of CAAP thus far — has been about communicating ideas simply. To illuminate the power of simplicity and the economy of words, Leslie had us run through an exercise where we had to write our 6-word memoir. It’s something that Ernest Hemingway first did, with these words:
For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.
SMITH Magazine has a website dedicated to these memoirs, and several books of 6-word memoirs have been published.
We did the same thing in class last weekend. Each of us had to write a 6-word memoir — exactly 6 words. This was mine:
Get out of my own way.
Brevity and word selection is everything. “Get” instead of “Got” or “Getting.”
I know posting about this is about the least original thing on earth, since SMITH’s been at it for awhile now. But I wanted to see what Unknown Studio listeners and readers would come up with.
So that’s my challenge to you: share your 6-word memoir in the comments section. Let’s see how creative everyone can be!
Photo by higginskurt on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.