|I ♥ My Blog: Writing a Writer's Manifesto|
why this [writing thing] matters
A lot of bloggers, memoirists, novelists, poets, and other writer sorts have felt the cold sting of loneliness when it comes to their writing. Nobody leaves comments. Nobody buys their books. Nobody seems to be paying attention. And the question arises, over and over: Why bother?
Why bother writing? Why put myself out there if nobody’s going to comment and I can’t even, in this social media driven age, get a “Like” on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, or +1 on Google Plus? Why pour my blood, sweat, and tears onto my keyboard or notebook if all I get in response to my sobs, my cries, my screams, my proclamations … is silence?
I’ll tell you why: Because you’re wrong.
Someone is listening. Someone is paying attention. Someone needs to hear what you have to say. Someone is waiting for you to write that novel, that poem, that memoir, that paragraph, that sentence, that line, that phrase, that word that resonates inside her and won’t let go. Someone is waiting for your voice to wake up or liberate a voice of his own. Someone, somewhere out there, needs you.
If you don’t have a mantra or a slogan or an affirmation as a writer, let that be it: Someone needs you to do what you’re doing.
why this [manifesto thing] matters
A writer’s statement of purpose is his or her manifesto. It tells the world, “This is why I’m doing what I’m doing.” It explains why you blog. It reveals how poems burn inside you until you let them out. It details why some of your fictional characters mean more to you than real people. It shares your purpose with a wider world.
But a statement of purpose does something more than that. Beyond being a manifesto, it is also a motivator. It tells that voice inside that doubts whether what you’re doing has meaning, “This is why I’m doing what I’m doing.” It reminds you why you blog. It rekindles that poetic longing inside you. It reignites the flame of passion you feel toward your characters. It resparks the purpose we often forget when we get discouraged.
Merriam-Webster defines manifesto as
a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.Interestingly, it is both a noun and a verb. To manifesto is to issue that declaration of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what you believe. Also interesting is the fact that “manifesto” comes from the same Latin root as “manifest.” Something that is manifest is something that is clear or apparent or obvious. To manifest something is to display, reveal, or otherwise make something evident.
It is important for us as writers to manifest ourselves: to make ourselves clear, and reveal to the world who we are. It is important, too, that we manifesto ourselves: to share public declarations of who we are, what we do, why we do it, and how we view it. Why? Because it’s important for the world and our readers to understand where we are coming from. Because that personal touch makes all the difference. Because it is important to remind ourselves of where we are coming from. Because reaching into ourselves and finding or rediscovering the heart of who we are as writers makes all the difference.
Your task this week is to write your manifesto. Who are you? What is it that you are doing? Why are you doing it? What do you believe, deep inside yourself, about what you do?
I encourage you to share this on your blog or website, perhaps as a post or as part of your “About Me” personal history. You might also consider, to continue the line of wall hangings this challenge has recommended, turning your manifesto into a poster for your writing space. It doesn’t have to be long: it could be a page or a paragraph. Just write it, and share it with the world … and yourself.
Feel free to share your manifesto, or thoughts on a writer’s statement of purpose, in the comments below!
Want to stay connected? I invite you to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Please also sign up for the free email updates from Our Lost Jungle!
Check out these helpful articles and resources: