How to Write a Manifesto: The Struggling Writer’s Guide
A manifesto is a statement of what you believe, written to help others, or yourself. Are you wondering how to write a manifesto? You have come to the right place.
The word “manifesto” is from the Latin word “manifesto,” “make public,” which comes from the Latin word “manifestus,” or “obvious.”
Write a manifesto about something that is obvious to you, or that you would like to be obvious to you. Write your manifesto to make it public to everyone, so that it will become obvious, natural, even when it is hard for you to believe it yourself.
What Is Important to You?
When I went to art school in 1979, my first-year drawing instructor said, “You can’t draw, Pamela.”
His comment echoed through my life for years. It kept me from creating.
I wrote a manifesto, The Artist’s Manifesto: Fight Resistance and Create, for an assignment for a writing course I took, Tribe Writers by Jeff Goins.
The manifesto defined a problem and offered a solution.
Here is an excerpt:
Did someone tell you, “You can’t draw!” Did they say, “I don’t think you have any talent”? Did you believe them? Do not believe the lie. Believe in yourself.
You can draw. You can paint. You are creative. You are an artist! Your art doesn’t have to look like someone else’s art.
The Artist’s Manifesto was written to encourage you to believe in yourself and your ability to create. The book was also written for me. I ask the reader to say, “I am an artist.” I had to say it too.
How to Write a Manifesto: 2 Steps
Maybe you do not believe you are an artist. (I believe you can be an artist, if you would like to be one.)
But you are a writer. Or at least, you would like to believe you are a writer.
Now it is your turn to write your manifesto, so that you can make public a truth that you need help to remember.
Are you wondering how to write a manifesto? Here are the two steps to follow.
1. Make a list.
Before I could write my manifesto, I had to find something I feel strongly about.
I have never forgotten my art professor’s words. Even now, they will hurt me, if I let them.
I knew that I needed to hear a different message. I knew I needed to remember that I am an artist, no matter what that professor said.
What do you feel strongly about? What message do you need to hear?
Make a list of topics. Maybe they are topics that excite you, or where you have felt pain or sadness in the past. Maybe they are topics about things you love.
Your first step is to make your list.
2. Write what you believe.
Choose the item that you feel the strongest about and write what you believe about the topic.
A manifesto is something that is important to you. We don’t have to agree on the topic.
My cat Harper offered to help with this article. She is going to write a manifesto about why writers need cats to help them write.
What should go in Harper’s manifesto? And what should go in yours?
First, state the problem. Then, offer solutions.
Here is the problem as Harper sees it. Writers are incapable of writing every day without a cat to help them. The cat will help the writer sit in the chair for hours by keeping them company.
The cat will also help the writer get out of bed in the morning to write. A writer can turn off an alarm clock. But you can’t stop a cat from meowing, or scratching on the door of your room.
You might not agree with Harper. You might think writers really need dogs or coffee to help them write.
That is the beauty of a manifesto. When you write your manifesto, you are sharing your beliefs with the world.
What Message Do You Need to Hear?
A manifesto can help you affirm your personal belief.
My first version of The Artist’s Manifesto was formatted in Microsoft Word and given away as a PDF on my blog when someone subscribed. Now the manifesto is a 158-page book with a cover, a foreword, and blurbs.
Last year I was ready to publish the book, but I hesitated. The book didn’t have any illustrations.
A book about believing you are an artist, and I wouldn’t illustrate it.
I didn’t want anyone to say, “Your teacher was right. You can’t draw.”
The book’s publication date is today. There are illustrations. Writing the book helped me realize the importance of creating and not caring what other people think.
Writing a manifesto helped me clarify what I believe. I hope writing a manifesto helps you believe in yourself.
A Manifesto Giveaway
I am excited to share The Artist’s Manifesto with you. I hope that whether you prefer to paint, draw, play music, or write, this book will encourage you to create.
You are an artist. I believe that. I hope you do too.
To celebrate the launch of The Artist’s Manifesto, I am giving away ten free copies of the book to people who comment on this article.
Leave a comment below to enter the giveaway. Then, please share this article with your friends and fellow writers so they can enter, too.
This Monday, I will use a random number generator to choose ten people to receive copies of the book.
Do you have any more tips for how to write a manifesto? What message do you want to communicate to others? Let us know in the comments.
Make a list of what you believe. Then, choose one of the items from your list and write about it for fifteen minutes.
When your time is up, share your manifesto in the comments below. Then, please leave feedback for a few of your fellow writers. Do their manifestos encourage you?
I hope writing your manifesto helps clarify your what you think.
It might help you clarify what you think, or it might help someone else get a cat.
P.S. Remember to leave a comment below so that you can enter to win a free copy of The Artist’s Manifesto. And please share today’s post so more writers can enter, too.
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