Less is More: Exploring Micro-Memoir

They write them long because they can’t write them short.

—Raymond Chandler, author

There are as many different ways to write life stories as there are people to write them. To write life stories, people usually think of writing a book, but we have many other options. Alternatives to full-length manuscripts include mini-memoir, micro-memoir, collections, photo memoirs, your life in lists, five-year journaling, poetry, six-word memoirs, and more.  

Micro-memoir stories are told in 1,000 words, if not half that. Could you write a story with such a short word count? Furthermore, why would one want to?

The benefits of writing full stories with brevity are many. It forces you to focus on just the memory you want to convey. You aren’t allowed any frivolous words. Descriptions have to be precise. Plus, writing this way will force you to hone your editing skills.

Learn more about the art of writing short in my presentation at the Life Story Summit that runs February 26 through March 4. I’m sharing “Micro-Memoir and Other Ways to Write Short” on Monday, March 1, 2021. Click here to learn more about the Life Story Summit. I hope you’ll join me!

Now, time for a prompt. Think of one moment from the past week you’d like to write about. It can be a significant event, an ordinary moment, or anything in between. Don’t dwell on which memory to choose for too long. Simply go with what bubbles to the surface first. 

Try to write at least 100 words, but not more than 1,000, to craft your own micro-memoir. I think you’ll find you can say a lot with a few carefully selected words. Then, I invite you to post your micro-memoir in the comments below.

You can also head over to the Writer magazine and read more about the art of the micro-memoir.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x