Creating Your Writer’s Manifesto
by ARHuelsenbeck (originally posted on ryanlanz.com)
What is a manifesto?
When I read about writing, one term that often comes up is the writer’s manifesto. That word sends me back to 1995, when the unabomber sent his manifesto to the New York Times. It revives suppressed memories of anarchistic memories and maniacal demands. Why would I want to write a manifesto?
What is a manifesto, really? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer. Oh.
Writers can examine their intentions, motives, and views about writing so they can come up with something like a mission statement, something they can refer back to when they need focus or encouragement. Why do we write? What are we hoping to achieve with our writing?
Why I write
I write because the written word is an art form I enjoy. I love to read. I love to learn, and I have insights to share. I am analytical and creative; writing is an excellent outlet for me.
When my children were young, I hoped to be able to help support my family with my writing. That didn’t happen, and eventually I had to take a day job which left me no time to write. In my retirement, making money is less of a concern. Yes, it would be nice to have healthy royalty checks coming in, but even if they never do, we’ll get by. I don’t need to write what sells; I can concentrate on what’s in my heart.
I am a follower of Christ. I’ve adopted this scripture passage as one of my life verses:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
That verse summarizes what I write about. My blog, ARHtistic License, acknowledges beauty and quality in the arts. I try not to rant about the ugly stuff. My fiction always has a redeeming message.
My Writer’s Manifesto
I will write something every day, even if it is only an idea for something I will write in the future. Daily writing is a discipline that will exercise my creative muscles.
Other writers are my colleagues, not my competition. I can learn from them, and I can promote their work and share what I know with them.
Making money from what I write is not my major concern; I am more interested in sharing ideas and insights and stories.
I will write pieces that inspire or that celebrate excellence. I will write stories with a positive message. There is enough horror in the world already.
Now it’s your turn
Have you written a manifesto for your writing or your art? In preparing to write my manifesto, I read lots of articles on the internet, but I found this one to be especially helpful.
Would you like to share your manifesto with us in the comments below? (If it’s on your website or blog, just paste a link.)
Guest post contributed by ARHuelsenbeck. Former elementary general music teacher ARHuelsenbeck blogs about the arts and the creative process at ARHtistic License. She is currently writing a YA mystical fantasy and a Bible study guide, and submitting a poetry chapbook, with mystery and MG drafts waiting in the wings. You can follow her on Twitter, and see some of her artwork, photography, and quilts on Instagram.