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.
P.S. Do you have a manifesto to share? Maybe just the first word, or the first line? Rock it out, in the comments.
P.P.S. I just wrapped another Write Yourself Into Motion workshop — this time, waaaay up north in Alberta, Canada!
Our theme was LOVE — and man, the loooove was flowing. We crafted personal introductions, bios, and love letters to our clients, customers, readers & fans.
There was yoga, chai-spiced cake, a globe-trotting teddy bear, and a birthday celebration with an impromptu burlesque performance. Things got kinda rowdy. And for some reason, half the group decided to wear stripes, on the last day. A swirly mystery!
If a full weekend of wordsmithery with me & 20 new friends sounds like 10 kinds of Christmas, don’t miss my Write Yourself Into Motion :: 2013 World Tour. My LA, Portland & Minneapolis dates each have just 1 or 2 spots left, and Washington D.C. and Vancouver Island are awaiting your presence, too. See you on the road!