When an actor has a brief role in a movie or TV show, it’s often referred to as a “cameo appearance.”

If writers can have cameo appearances, then I can now say that I’ve been given that honor.

Earlier in September, another blogger (Eli from Coach Daddy) asked me for a six-word submission to an ongoing, monthly series that he publishes. The basis for this writing challenge is Ernest Hemingway, who is reported to have said that every story can be told in just six words. Therefore, every blogger who responds to Eli’s invitation must write no more than six words on a given theme.

There is one thing all of my readers know about me:

I am not a concise writer.

True story. When Jon and I were dating, we often emailed each other during the week. After several months, Jon admitted to me that my emails were long.  He reminded me that he was a busy single dad working 40+ hours a week, coming home to kids and homework and piles of laundry. “Maybe you could make use of bullet points?” he suggested.

I tried to please him. Really, I did. But two weeks later the subject came up again. “You don’t like using bullet points, do you?” Jon asked. I admitted that I didn’t. He grinned and said, “I can tell. You are the only person I know who puts bullet points in front of lengthy paragraphs!”

 Writing in short form is not my style, but I am working on whittling down my words. Sometimes, less is more … or at least I’m told that is the way it works in the world of writing.

There is a second thing my regular readers will know about me, as well as those who know me in real life.

 I hate being forced to conform.

I like to find ways to bend them to suit myself.  I do not like being limited, so I resist conforming.

For the past two years, I’ve participated in the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge. Most bloggers write to a theme. But not me. My mind changes gears too often. I like the freedom of being able to write about whatever pleases me instead of being forced to stick to a theme I might grow weary of halfway through the challenge.

So why is it that I accepted Eli’s challenge to write concisely on a given theme?

It all goes back to a third thing about me, one my readers may not have picked up on unless they also know me in person.

I’m a Type-A personality.

As a Type A, nothing brings me more satisfaction that completing a challenge and doing it well. My favorite type of test is one that is a bit out-of-my-comfort-zone but fully within an area of personal enjoyment.

Eli presented me with a writing invitation tempting enough to grab my attention and challenging enough to make me desire to succeed. I couldn’t help but opt in and be a part!

Yesterday, Eli’s September Six-Word Challenge went live on his blog. There are 66 six-word entries written on the theme of “How I Would Improve Myself.”  My brief cameo appearance can be found at #22.

It’s just six words, but I’m pretty proud of them.  I won’t share what I wrote here, but you can go check it out for yourself over on the Coach Daddy blog.

And while you are there, you can read all the other entries too, many of which are funny or inspiring ideas. Besides, who among us can’t use a little encouragement to make some personal upgrades as a way of attaining self-improvement.

Be sure to check out the rest of Eli’s blog while you are there. Eli is a fun writer who has a blog that lights up the web. Best of all, he is bringing bloggers together to create an encouraging community of writers from all skill levels and walks of life.

Once you are done checking out Elis’ Coach Daddy blog, I hope you’ll come back here and let me know in the comments how you’d improve your life.

Bonus points if you can do it in six words or less!

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