A written statement to publicly declare your intentions, motives, or beliefs.
From the Latin manifestus — to manifest, to clearly reveal, to make real.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-at-home mama, a rising entrepreneur, an aspiring author, a CEO, or a preschool teacher — everyone needs a blow-your-mind manifesto. It’s just … necessary. And sexy.
Crafting your manifesto helps to anchor your beliefs — it’s a powerful reminder of why you’re on the planet & why your work matters. Sharing your manifesto is even mo’ better — it magnetizes the people who (already) love you, get you, and are raring to support you.
If you feel like writing a manifesto is something that only presidential speechwriters and poet laureates can do … think again.
Here are 5 simple approaches to writing a blow-your-mind manifesto.
1. I BELIEVE …
Just tell us what you believe. Simple as that. One sentence, a bullet-point list, or a whole commencement address.
“I believe in the power of love.”
“I believe that when one woman forgives herself, the whole world exhales.”
“I believe that stories are the portal to connection, and that connection is the opposite of shame.”
Or — for an unexpected twist — tell us what you no longer believe. (And why.)
2. I WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE …
Paint a vision of the world you want to live in. What’s different? What’s better? What’s easier?
This is your version of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
“I want to live in a world where girls at risk have a way out — and up.”
“I want to live in a world where Qi Gong 101 is taught in every high school.”
“I want to live in a world where authors finish what they’ve started — and publish what they want.”
Wrap it up by telling us how you’re actively creating that world, right now — and how we can join you.
3. HERE’S WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE …
How very Oprah of you! Reveal a few undeniable truths — in a poem, an essay, or an elegant list.
“Here’s what I know for sure: love is the antidote to fear.”
“Here’s what I know for sure: one handwritten thank you note can alter the course of someone’s day. Or life.”
“Here’s what I know for sure: when you fall asleep for the last time, you won’t wish you’d spent more time linking, tweeting, and liking. You’ll wish you’d spent more time kissing, laughing, and loving.”
You can frame it as a letter to your younger, less-wiser self. Or a collection of truisms for a sister, child, client, or friend.
4. ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN …
Share a collection of straight-shootin’ tips & advice, from the perspective of someone who’s not “perfect” — just a few steps ahead.
This is your version of Mary Schmich’s classic “Always Wear Sunscreen” speech.
“A good night’s sleep & a warm croissant can soak up a river of sorrow.”
“Trust your instincts. Be yourself. Believe the clichés. They’re usually true.”
“Use the expensive perfume. Wear the saucy panties. Nobody needs to know. Unless they do.”
For that ooh-ahh-full-circle factor, reiterate your opening line again, at the end. Kapow!
5. THE MICRO-MANIFESTO …
If you were at the world’s biggest open mic night, and had fifteen seconds on the microphone, what would you holler out into the crowd? (Quick! Go! There’s not much time!)
“Just dance, babycakes!”
“Sweat. Stretch. Serve. Smile.”
“No one on earth can do what you do, in precisely the way that you do it.”
And that, my friends, is how you write a manifesto. You can do it. You will not perish. I promise.
Do you have a manifesto to share? Maybe just the first word, or the first line?
This post first appeared at www.AlexandraFranzen.com
How to write a manifesto.
A manifesto is a statement where you can share your…
– Intentions (what you intend to do)
– Opinions (what you believe, your stance on a particular topic)
– Vision (the type of world that you dream about and wish to create)
What should go into your manifesto? Answer: anything you want! There aren’t any firm rules. You can write whatever you want, however you want, and it can be as long (or short) as you want.
After reading your manifesto, ideally, your reader should feel like, “I understand this person better” or “I get what this project is all about and why it matters” or “Oh, I can see the type of world that this person is trying to create — me too! I want to join the revolution!”
Your primary goal is to make your reader “feel” something. Hope. Excitement. Amusement. Curiosity. Whatever “feeling” you want to convey.
Here’s a very simple manifesto template that you can play with…
Start by filling out the following three statements:
I am committed to…
Or, if you’re using a collective voice:
We are committed to…
Here is a sample manifesto that I wrote for HunnyMilk, my sweetheart’s restaurant.
We love… butter, sugar, salt, eggs, and bacon and we’re not ashamed to say it.
We believe… that food should be made fresh with the best possible ingredients and that life should be full of simple pleasures and small indulgences, every day.
We are committed to… serving brunch items & sweets that make you feel like a kid again.
Join us every weekend for brunch. We want your HunnyMilk visit to be the best part of your day!
Notice how at the bottom of the HunnyMilk manifesto, I put a specific “invitation” for the reader: “Join us every weekend for brunch…”
If you’re writing a manifesto for your business, wrapping up your manifesto with a specific invitation is often a smart move. That way, you’re not leaving your reader “hanging,” wondering what to do next. You’re spelling it out, loud and clear!
If you’ve never written a manifesto before, I encourage you to try it!
Regardless of whether you work for a company, or if you’re self-employed, or job-hunting, or a full-time parent, writing a manifesto is a beautiful writing exercise that can help you figure out what you stand for. Or at least, what you stand for — for now.