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Memoirist of the Month—July 2017: Allie Campbell

“Six-Word Memoirs has served as a way to document my successes and pitfalls. My sixes have become plot points on a chart of thoughts.”

Name: Alexandria “Allie” Campbell
Place: New Jersey
SMITH Member Since: March 2012

When Allie Campbell joined Six-Word Memoirs in 2012, her first memoir was a proclamation to her writer’s heart: “I will get my Pulitzer Prize.” Quite a claim for a rising teen, yet it wasn’t meant as an arrogant declaration; instead, those six words reflect her passion for writing (“Wielding my keyboard like a sword”) and commitment to this lifelong endeavor (“Writing is where I reinvent everything”). Posting as TheAngstyPoet with nearly two thousand memoirs to date, she has grown from a trepidatious teen into a confident adult (“Teenage me boiled, now I simmer.”). And her Six Words of advice published in our 2015 book, The Best Advice in Six Words, are as fitting for a student as anyone trying to realize their dreams: “Grit your teeth, do your homework.” Congratulations to Allie Campbell as our Memoirist of the Month for July 2017. Learn more about this memoirist who is more poet than angsty as she answers our Six Questions:

How did you first hear about Six-Word Memoirs?
I first heard about Six-Word Memoirs in 2012 during the New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival. I went with my high school magazine group, Images. We went to a writing workshop. We wrote from a word prompt. Then the facilitator talked about Six-Word Memoirs and we each wrote our own. These days, I hop on SMITH when I feel creative or want to flesh out an event that happened to me. Sometimes I check the site daily, which continues for a while, and then sometimes I go MIA. Usually I come to SMITH when I’m inspired by something big happening. I’ve written about being in college, my first job, and my brief time abroad. More often than not, I “six” my adventures.

“My mother’s talent is comedic timing.”

When did you start writing and what have been turning points in your creative life?
I started writing in high school when my MomMom, a.k.a. my grandmother, became sick with cancer. I used poetry as a way to cope with grief. A lot of poems were angsty so my mother was not always a fan. That’s how I chose my username, TheAngstyPoet. Then I got into performance poetry for a short time. In college, I wrote on and off. I’ve been trying to get back into it, but I only write little vignettes or poems.

Which authors do you enjoy or admire, including writers on Six-Word Memoirs?
Maya Angelou has inspired me since I learned “Still I Rise” by heart. Her writing style and flow have influenced my own work. In all of his books, Roald Dahl has framed magic in a fresh, childlike way that has made me realize the importance of tone and mood when writing. Recently, I’ve fallen in love with Rupi Kaur‘s self-published poetry and inspires me to write in a “less is more” style.

On SMITH, I enjoy BanjoDan, Loon, canadafreeze, Contemplative, Solstice, Neesha101, JohnBigJohn. For these next three memoirists, I’ve included a memorable memoir from them and why it’s meaningful to me: “I procrastinate; therefore, I do not.” by Bevvie. I’ve procrastinated all week. Hell, I’ve procrastinated my entire life. “Saddling up elephant in the room.” by DynamicDbytheC. This memoir is poignant, it makes me think of something that you put off because you dread the outcome. “I’m sometimes what hits the fan.” by Steve__Anthony. This is flat out funny and describes most of my stick situations.

“Letting the world go to voicemail.”

Can you share a favorite Six-Word Memoir, or other story of yours on SMITH and tell us why it’s meaningful to you?
I have one from March 2012, when I joined Six-Word Memoirs, and another from March 2017. “I am already bitter at seventeen.” I pessimistically wrote these six words about love in high school—I remember that DynamicDbytheC mentioned a lyric which sings, “Is that all there is?” which captured the sentiment of this memoir. Five years later, I wrote about my first job out of college: “The world’s much bigger than now.” In this recent memoir, I realized that this job is not where I’m going to end up, I’m just beginning. Six-Word Memoirs has served as a way to document my successes and pitfalls. My sixes have become plot points on a chart of thoughts.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time and what do you enjoy doing?
I live in New Jersey and I’m a paralegal. I love to cook and try new foods, I enjoy talking to strangers, and I like to go on walks.

Finally, Allie Campbell, what are your Six Words for today?
“Be afraid, but do it anyway.”

Comments

  • Solstice
    July 1, 2017

    Yahoo-ey, Angsty! What a great surprise!! Congratulations!! I have always enjoyed your memoirs and back stories. You are always so honest with your feelings and self reflective. And very, very grounded.
    Beautiful interview, gorgeous you. Courageous, too!
    Xxxxx, Solstice

  • BanjoDan
    July 1, 2017

    Dear Allie, It is great to learn more about you. I enjoy your honest memoirs and admire your passion for writing. Thanks for mentioning the poets, I will be sure to check them out.

  • bevvie
    July 1, 2017

    Kudos! You really have grown up on Smith! Much success to you as you continue your journey!

  • DynamicDbytheC
    July 1, 2017

    I have loved you from the very beginning and if I had a daughter, I would want her to be you. You took me back to being a teenager, but I couldn’t have articulated the experience as well as you did. I suspect the cancer experience contributed to your insights. Cancer impacts the soul more than the body (maybe a six here, ha). You were a wise, “old” soul with a zesty, teen spirit. At first, I didn’t realize you were a teen because of your well-written and insightful memoirs. I remember you questioning if it was appropriate or if you were allowed to write in the adult memoir section. I recall a lot of support. As I push toward retirement, I get to recall the early “plot points” of life vicariously through you. Let me point out that I will attend your Pulitzer Prize Ceremony.

  • jl333
    July 1, 2017

    Allie, Allie, Allie! A well deserved memoirist pick for July! As you know, from the get go, I’ve always related to your memoirs in one way or another. You are wise for your years. You are no longer “angsty”…now you’re just a poet. I wish you the very best in life. Accept the challenges and downfalls as they come. Always hold your head in high. I look forward to reading your future memoirs. I loved learning more about you Allie! –JL

  • ellis_reyes
    July 2, 2017

    Congrats on MOTM. It’s nice getting to know you a bit better.

  • Kharis
    July 2, 2017

    Angsty Allie, am so pleased you’re featured. I thoroughly enjoy your unique sixes- they are so edgy and different. I love the one about wielding the keyboard. The photos indicate what a fun friend you are too. Wishing you every happiness in life and great success with your writing and congratulations on MOTM,

  • _PowBD_
    July 2, 2017

    Congratulations on MOTM AP. I’ve always enjoyed reading your sixes keep going with your dream.

  • ADHDean
    July 2, 2017

    Way to go, AP, for being selected! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and letting us get to know you a bit better. You’re right, the world IS much bigger, and life is in the finding out just *how* big (and in learning in what ways it’s small, too). Keep on writing, AP!
    Dean

  • Oh_Skinny
    July 2, 2017

    Congratulations, Allie, for this well-deserved feature. Peace to you, friend.

  • Canadafreeze
    July 3, 2017

    Congratulations, Angsty! I love the wisdom and edge in your words. You are a very talented writer and I’m so glad to see you featured. Way to go, Allie:-)

  • John Roedel
    July 5, 2017

    Congrats!!

    Your interview confirms what we already know:
    You are one of the true gemstones of The Smith Community!
    I love this line of yours: “My sixes have become plot points on a chart of thoughts.” So great!!
    Thank you for your talent and generosity!

  • JoC
    July 5, 2017

    Way to go, AP/Allie! Your sixes are so sharp and wise. You do a great job with getting deep in only six. I admire those that need no backstory, though I like be those backstories, too. Congratulations on a job well done and an honor well-deserved!

  • JAD
    July 5, 2017

    Congrats! Allie, for a well deserved honor. Long overdue. Glad to know much more about you.

  • G_Austin
    July 7, 2017

    Imagination devices are available at libraries.
    by TheAngstyPoet
    Still one of my favorites… congratulations!

    Guy

  • Krystyna (CG)
    July 7, 2017

    Congrats Allie on being featured this month.

  • Neesha
    July 7, 2017

    How wonderful to see you as MOTM, Allie!! I’m so happy for you. And so awesome to know you better. Keep on sixing! 🙂

  • liberata
    July 7, 2017

    Great to get to know you, Allie! Looking forward to reading more of your sixes.

  • caralongwrites
    July 7, 2017

    Congratulations! I love your sixes, and it’s wonderful to get to know you better here.

  • Susan (zsuzsu)
    July 28, 2017

    I’m a bit late to the party, but congratulations on being July’s Memoirist! Hope you had a fun, feature-filled month. Am looking forward to more of your poignant Sixes.

  • Loon
    August 2, 2017

    I hope you stay with us a long, long time

  • torturedbutterfly
    February 14, 2018

    Congratulations, TheAngstyPoet!!

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