5 ways to write a blow-your-mind manifesto.

 

MANIFESTO. noun.

/ˌmanəˈfestō/

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.

XO.


 

P.S. Do you have a manifesto to share? Maybe just the first word, or the first line? Rock it out, in the comments.

 
 

Comments

Alex- love this! My manifesto has been stirring in my soul but a long ebook doesn’t feel right. I am typically long-winded but a long work isn’t right for my first manifesto form.

Thanks so much for these alternatives. They have inspired me to start putting some thoughts on paper and getting them out into the world! Xo

~sg

Super awesome babes!!

Kim Berube on Feb 12, 2013 Reply

I love the idea of a manifesto and I’m going to write one!! I’m assuming I should pick only one or two of the types above as the focus right? Are those just five different (and awesome) ways to whip one up?

Hannah Alyse on Feb 12, 2013 Reply

love this. I wrote The Bear Manifesto when I was working out what me and my coaching practice was making a stand for. Its designed as a poster. Includes: naps and pie.

Cannot recommend doing this enough! I wrote my one age manifesto in about 9 minutes when trying to clarify to myself what I stood for. Made it into a poster. It even has a bear in it! Also: naps & pie.

Alex,

This is awesome as always. I’m in the process of a second Manifesto. This is such a brillant framework to create from. Here’s one of the cornerstones of my manifesto.

“Extraordinary occurs outside your comfort zone”. I hope you don’t mind my link to it below

http://theskooloflife.com/wordpress/the-extraordinary-achievers-manifesto/

Just sat down to write my manifesto and this post appeared in my Inbox! Sweet!!

How’s this for timing?! :)

Thats some serendipity right there!

ADORE.

Something powerful I have learned from a brilliant coach: consider the rule of opposites.

It is not terribly revealing or unique to write “I believe…” if no one would ever say the opposite. So saying “I believe in the power of love” doesn’t hold up because no one would say “I believe in the power of hate”.

But if your “I believe….” doesn’t have an opposite….or the opposite can also be true, then it more unique, more powerful, more YOU. And perfect for a manifesto.

Controversial statements get tons more attention. Thanks for reminding me of this!

Ooohh, my gears are turning for sure! Thank you for this one.

I want to live in a world where creatives, not corporations, are forces to be reckoned with. And that’s just the beginning to the full manifesto I’ll be writing while I sip on hot chocolate and watch the snow fall.

XO,
Kathleen

Those are wonderful prompts! My MANIFESTO is one of my most favorite things, on one of my most favorite topics – POSSIBILITY! <3 http://thecreativegiraffe.com/manifesto-of-possibility/

Who wants to join me in writing a manifesto? @Alex_Franzen is brilliant, unshockingly. http://t.co/5TBlNEE4

I LOVE that I live in a world where Alexandra Franzen is changing the world by doing her freakishly gifted wordcrafting thang!
WRITE YOURSELF INTO MOTION will change your life. Find One, Go There and DO IT!!!
Better than the best workshop/conference. Ever.
Member WYIM Athabasca
(I <3 Alex!!!)
-Jennifer

Fantastic post by @Alex_Franzen on writing a blow your mind manifesto! http://t.co/Uf8Gv8kX

Alex:
You are a bright shining star and help us all to illuminate and radiate by sharing your give. Gratitude abounds…

Here’s my manifesto in its latest iteration:

Beauty isn’t a look.
It’s not a mindset, a lifestyle, a necessity, or a means, either.

Authentic beauty is the gift of well-being. There is no way to separate the two, and preserving them is a matter of art.

At Naturie, our complete range of signature beauty formulae for skin, hair, and body are essential components of the healing beauty arts – not just the paints for the portrait of your wellness, but the canvas, easel, texture, and subject as well.

With the highest concentrations of 100% raw shea butter in the industry,, our products are righteous therapy for every nook and cranny of your body temple. We endeavor to heal the beauty psyche and excavate genuine beauty by revealing paths to well-being.

From therapeutic, physiological and sensory experiences to transformative wellness and beauty practices; the developers behind Naturie Shea Butter Apotheca are not just experts or cosmeticians, they’re healers and artists, & authentic beauty is the final result of their pursuit of that art.

http://naturie.com

Everything was going great until you got to the Open Mic Night part and all I could think of was, “Heeeeeeey!”

Once again, you are a platform for undeniable kismet! Thank you.

I BELIEVE the unknown visual is not so scary.

I WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD where honesty is valued over pride + perfection.

WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE IS, some people are medicine + some are poison – I don’t have to be effected by both elixirs.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS have the capacity to look at things with multiple perspectives.

Just right now/write now, my womanifesto is …

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

There are some days when this breath — and the hope and promise of the next inspiration — is all I can manage.
And is plenty for now.

~

5 ways to write a blow-your-mind manifesto http://t.co/AQkprzoW via @alex_franzen Great for online bios or elevator pitches!

cracked my heart-wide-open :: 5 ways to write a blow-your-mind manifesto http://t.co/037g4dQL via @alex_franzen

Declaration of power (over self)!

My “Artist’s Manifesto” starts with “I am”. First I thought that maybe it would be a #6 on your list. But no – it’s the in the same category as #1.

http://theartofgreatness.com/the-artists-manifesto/

5 ways to write a blow-your-mind manifesto. http://t.co/41mwF4fB

John(ny Cougar) Mellencamp spoke at my graduation ceremony (which was awhile ago). I was sort of appalled that he took off his honorary doctorate robe to just sit in a black t-shirt and jeans on a hot day, but REALLY appalled when he threw his gum at the commencement orchestra.

But – what I did get out of his speech to us was this: Play it like ya feel it, baby. Seriously, this was his message to us. I used to mock it, but maybe that was because I didn’t have a micro-manifesto of my own.

So, I will work on that. Thanks for these ideas!

*Sigh* Thank you dear Alex. Ready?

“Not all of us are extroverts. Connection that is meaningful is more important than how much noise you make. Make noise quietly. Be weird seriously. Never solemn. Play lots. Be intimate and loyal. Don’t shout if shouting is crass. Weird is good. Quiet is beautiful. Muffled is sad. Be brave and show up however you dare. Pick yourself, even if nobody has ever picked you in your whole life.”

Just looooove, “Quiet is beautiful. Muffled is sad.” Thank you.

STEPH :: Brevity is beautiful!

HANNAH :: There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ approach, here. You can choose one and run with it — or a lovely hybrid!

SAS :: ‘Naps and pie’ = a perfect three-word manifesto, for life. :)

SRINIVAS :: Thank you for reminding us to tip-toe out of our collective comfort zones. You are living that message! :)

TANYA :: Smart + well-said!

ELLEN :: Possibility rules.

JENNIFER :: Awwww, shucks.

NATURIE :: ‘Beauty isn’t a look.’ Love that.

LEONA :: Gorgeous.

CC :: Plenty, indeed.

SANDRA :: YES! Two of the most powerful words, ever: ‘I AM.’

CAITLIN :: ‘Play it like ya feel it’ = HOT! My thanks to Mr. Cougar Mellencamp.

JO :: ‘Be weird seriously.’ Heehee. Delightful.

Alexandra Franzen on Feb 13, 2013 Reply

Get inspired: Write a manifesto & put into words why your work matters. @alex_franzen walks you through the process: http://t.co/7U3cutW8

Thanks Alex for the inspiration; love your stuff SO much.

Here’s a first draft that flowed out from following your prompts:

I believe we chose to come here, into human form, to live life on Earth. Life is a choice so let’s stay grateful, engaged and awake, responsible for creating a life of joy and meaning.

I want to live in a world where people are connected to their true Home. Where they turn to the Divine for guidance, support and safety. I want to live in a world where cynicism has been replaced with openness.

I’m creating this world right now through blogging, speaking, coaching, writing. You can join me by letting your own voice shine through – we need your voice, your story, your gifts, your contribution. Dedicate your life to being of service to others and you’ll experience joy when that love flows through you.

Here’s what I know for sure: life doesn’t end when we die and it didn’t begin when we were born. You are more beautiful and powerful than you can possibly conceive and there are limitless opportunities ahead.

Stay innocent and keep believing, even when the world calls you naive. Trust in joy. Stay grateful. Stay humbly self-loving. Clear your space, get your life up-to-date, so that you live in the moment and so that people don’t have to clear up too much after you’re gone.

I believe we chose to come here – so let’s celebrate the journey.

You are needed. You are loved. You are safe.

Well this is awesome! Not only the how-to on writing a manifesto, but to all you women also writing manifestos!

To declaring and sharing the story inside!

Thanks for the great post!

I HAVE FAITH THAT …

I have faith in the Human Spirit. I have faith that words are our most inexhaustible source of magic. I know with the right words, you can manifest ANYTHING.

& I no longer believe we need to learn from struggle or hardship because this is the New Age and we have the power to create a Golden Age.

I WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE…

Harnessing the Magic of Words is taught in schools to children and adults alike, where the Great Mystery lights up the wonder lights up in their eyes.

I’m creating this world right MEOW as a word artisan at Thunderbird Academy.

I create magical experiences for holistic entrepreneurs to harness their own word-magic with the spirit of writing so that they can touch the sun, put in their pocket, and bring it back to The People and be paid generously to share it.

You can join me by sauntering over to [name fame ]

HERE’S WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE …

I know that it’s only by putting our Spirits first that we will ever see another Golden Age.

A Golden Age first in our own lives, where we no longer have to work hard for our dreams to become reality, but surrender into the trust that it’s already happening.

A Golden Age where…
The Human Spirit FLOURISHES.
Children are respected for their creative differences
Adults remember the wonder of the world.
& All Ages, All Gender, All Races wake up to their Gifts to make a better world for the next 7 Generations.

ALWAYS PUT YOUR SPIRIT FIRST

& YOU ARE THE LIGHT BEYOND THIS WORLD.

Practical(ish) question. For those of us who are rotten with design programs (or can’t afford, uh, Adobe) (but who are still all right designers) (despite our love of parentheses), is there an easy way to create either 1) a bold, colorful, surprisingly kerned infographic version, or 2) an animated moving-word (kinetic typography?) video like Ira Glass’s beautiful advice to beginners (http://vimeo.com/24715531)?

The former seems more doable, and the latter a tougher (but not impossible) creative project. Anyone have suggestions? This is such a gorgeous piece of work and a wonderful idea, and I want to take it one step beyond the words.

Jeremy on Mar 27, 2013 Reply

GREAT question, Jeremy! I was wondering the same thing. Would love to know if someone has any suggestions….

Such an awesome post, Alex. Thank you for helping me to craft my manifesto. xo

Have a personal style blog for three years and it is just now that I’m at that place to write a manifesto. Took me some time but reading through the post, it only makes it more clear how I need to start writing like today. Thank you for the inspiration.

Talent determines, Ability decides whiles Assurance questions
this is a wonderful piece….
thank you and wishing you all the best

Your website is amazing and this post on manifesto writing is simply inspiring. As someone in the very early stages of crafting an online identity, I am incredibly grateful I found you,

p.s. it seems that we share a love for hand written thank you notes! If only I had better hand writing :)

I just wrote my manifesto for what I stand for and what I do in my business to support that:

I believe that when one woman believes in herself, the whole world opens up to her.
That when her light is on, she fights to keep it on – not only fighting her own limiting beliefs, but those external sources trying to cover her light, because they’re scared of shining theirs.

I want to live in a world where women are lovingly bold and glorified, connections are enlightened and messages are spread far and wide.

I want to live in a world where women are known as visionary, leaders, nurturers and lovers – that provide immense value to the world through their knowledge and understanding.

Here’s what I know for sure: when you fall asleep for the last time, you won’t wish you spent more time trying to fit in, or worried about what people think of you, or letting the fear of being too pushy in sales conversations get in the way of providing massive transformation for a potential client. You’ll wish you’d spent more time changing lives, getting what you want and deserve, and loving.

You don’t have to conform to what the populous is telling you – you are free to be who you want to be.
This is your permission to be bold, whipsmart, glorified.

There’s always a simpler option.
There’s always a sweeter path.

It’s your path.

Your path to glory.

I’m going to bounce in with:
“Here’s What I Know For Sure”
Love prevails
Hope is the last of all human freedoms- protect it, honor it, and extend it
I’m worth it, I’m totally worth it, so go get it!

Sarah on Sep 23, 2013 Reply

Alex, This Great Dane Oktoberfest tastes a gazillion times sweeter while reading your magical words of wisdom.

Courtney Harwood on Sep 28, 2013 Reply

I believe in brevity and specificity.

felicia on Oct 22, 2013 Reply

Sweat. Stretch. Serve. Smile.”
“No one on earth can do what you do, in precisely the way that you do it
beautiful word of encouragement. Thank you very much

“Feel your heart connection in this moment
As you dive with un-fettered curiosity into self-convicted love
That will spontaneously and organically inspire and flow through life itself
Without you having to even lift one finger.”
Terri George.

Thank you so much Alexandra (student of Jo Bradshaw and Brand Playgroup) See here http://www.minestronesoul.com/

I LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing how to structure a powerful manifesto. One of my goals for this upcoming year is to write a manifesto for myself and business and I am so excited to have found your guide. Off to write now.

xoAshley

OMG! I literally just finished writing a great manifesto for my high school elections. You honestly don’t know how much you’ve just helped me. I’m so sure I’m winning this elections. thank you soooooooo much.

That’s amazing, Jade!

Please keep us posted. :)

Alexandra Franzen on Jan 9, 2014 Reply

I learnt this in Primary School.

kisha on Jan 16, 2014 Reply

Great post. I wrote three manifestos last year for my website on Writing, Creativity and Nature. Here’s the link to the one on Writing: http://www.jackeeholder.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/JH-FINAL-Writing-Manifesto-30Jan13.pdf

Jackee, Love your page! Cool visuals as well as prompts!

wow,i love it.
it has what i was searching for.

Favy on Mar 3, 2014 Reply

Thanks for this. The Lord bless you.

Afolabi on Mar 13, 2014 Reply

I’m busy creating it… And already I think it’s awesome… Can’t wait to share the finished product ;)

I’ve just started working on mine… And already… I think it’s gonna be awesome! Thanks for providing an incredible bone structure to work with ;) once I’m done – I’ll share it with all of you ;)

i need a manifesto for school prefect pllllssssssssssssss

Love this post! Didn’t find it until just after mine was written but I seem to have nailed step 1! Would love to hear what you think about the impact of this one having not followed all the steps above:
http://www.carolinecain.com/manifesto/

Caroline: Congrats on writing your manifesto!

To clarify: the 5 points I outlined above aren’t “steps” … they are 5 different ways to approach writing a manifesto. Different prompts. Different angles. :)

You could certainly use them as sequential steps (that might be cool!) but that wasn’t my original intent.

Bottom line: whatever works + gets the words flowing … go for it. :)

There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to write!

Alexandra Franzen on May 1, 2014 Reply

Every girl deserves to SHINE!

Oops! That last one was meant to be my post, not a reply to the previous post! Not sure how it ended up looking like a reply or how to prevent that, but anyway…
That’s my micro manifesto: Every girl deserves to shine!!

Just came across this and just published my manifesto yesterday! I’d love you to read it!

Hi, Alexandra.
Must be exciting to be getting comments more than a year later! Great job.
Came across this article via an online course and appreciate your points. I had almost forgotten about my manifesto I posted a year ago http://aycoach.com/ and it was a blessing to go back and read it.

So, I recommend three things to manifesto writers:
1. Do NOT let others proof read it and make changes or comments before you post it. It is YOUR voice and declaration, not anyone else. That was one mistake I now realize I did. But, I do still love my manifesto. Therefore,
2. Read your manifesto regularly to keep your inspiration and motivation going!
3. Adjust it as you grow, because you WILL grow.

@Tanya Malot, I love your point about stating a belief that does not have an opposite. Makin’ me think, lady.

Thank you, again!
Neneh

i love it

Excellent Advice, Thank you !

Traci Garceau on Sep 23, 2014 Reply

Thank you! I am happy with my creation.

I believe in the inherent goodness of people. I want to live in a world where every prospective parent is taught the impact of relational trauma on children. Here’s what I know for sure: The author who said “No Act of Kindness is Ever Wasted”, was right. Refrain from judgment at first sight. And then trust that your fears will dissipate (sp?).

Michelle on Sep 24, 2014 Reply

Everyday help someone who can’t help themselves, thoughtfulness is never forgotten.

Lori on Sep 25, 2014 Reply

I believe we have a responsibility to tell people where there’s hope and help available. And that, my friend, means marketing.

Wao! This is highly motivating,thanks for putting me on the track ,,I want to live in world where the nation will be like eden garden,where the won’t be tribal differentiation

COMRADE ZEAL on Nov 18, 2014 Reply

WOW.you guyz blow my mind

tayour on Nov 22, 2014 Reply

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