There have been two times in the past where teachers or mentors wanted me to write my manifesto. Both times I stumbled and fumbled and tried to put what I thought into words. I didn’t understand how it would help me. They insisted that it would help me dream big and make it happen.
What is a manifesto?
It is a statement that includes:
- what you intend to do
- or what your stance is on a particular topic
- or what your vision (of the world or your work) is.
Your manifesto can include one, two, or all three of those things.
Must You Have A Manifesto?
No, but it is helpful. You can clarify what your intentions are, what your vision is, and what your stance is. Do you need to make it public? That depends on your manifesto and your personality. You may keep it private if you wish.
Recently I re-read the two assignments. Written years apart, they weren’t two separate things. Each was a part of the whole. Here is my full manifesto.
I choose to make my life matter to me.
I acknowledge that my time and energy is finite, that I cannot please everyone and that spending time doing things that matter to me make me a better person.
Writing stories fulfills an important part of who I am. So I will take the time and the energy to write.
I believe that books can change people’s lives for the better. Stories are a powerful tool that helps people change. Stories ease their way into a person’s mind and heart, and if that person allows it, the story takes root in their soul.
My purpose in life, the reason I’m here on this earth, is to leave words behind. Words that will inspire, cause deeper thought, or bring joy even if I never know that my words led to those reactions in anyone. It’s nice when someone lets me know how my words have touched them, but it is enough to know that I’ve done my best and sent those words out for others to find.
I have no control over whether people will buy or like my stories. What I can control is producing a product as polished, as publishable as possible. So I will take the time and energy to learn to do this and to execute it in the most complete fashion of which I am capable of.
The act of writing is not enough to feed myself and my husband, nor to keep a roof over our heads. So I will sell my books. I will take the time and energy to learn to market my books. I will do this in the most complete, authentic, and ethical ways possible.
If I never sell a single book, I am validated every day by writing words that will touch someone’s life. I learn and grow with every word I write, not only as a writer but as a person. Mine is a good life, even with its challenges.
I am worthy of choosing my own life path and I am a better person by doing so.
Make It Happen
I’ve been working hard on editing my novel, Fellowship (formerly titled Ian’s Trust), and outlining If I Should Die. I’m also marketing My Soul to Keep. Balancing the editing, outlining, and marketing has kept me at the keyboard for long hours every day. It seems as if I cannot do enough nor do it fast enough.
Re-reading my manifesto made me pause. It reminded me of why I do what I do. And I realized I did it.
I had a big dream. I chose my path and I made it happen. There is still lots of learning and growing to do, but mine is a good life.
Did I make this happen because I had a manifesto (in two parts?) Writing the manifesto, even in fits and starts, helped me clarify what I wanted. And clarity is half the battle.
Do you have a manifesto? No? Don’t wait. Write your manifesto today. Dream big and make it happen.