So ... there’s a lesson in freshman english

on writing with maximum efficiency. The example given is Ernest Hemmingway and his famous six-word story;

“For sale. Baby shoes.
Never worn.”

Just six words, but they manage to move you. In search of a way to create insights in a rare neurological disease, we ask patients to tell us their six-word story about living with the condition.

The results were astounding. 14 short stories of raw emotion, with symbols like chains, clouds, and eyes wide shut. These stories teach us about the constant, overwhelming nature of the disease, but also that it’s isolating and enigmatic. We share the stories and they help to build empathy and chip away at the walls of isolation. We’ve managed to open a window into the patient perspective through 84 words. Unable to go back, we possess a deeper understanding about what life is like for patients, or better stated from one of the authors,

“It’s amazing what a smile hides.”

So ... simple.

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