February 22, 2015

I Thought It Was Time To Write A Manifesto

Screen shot 2015-02-22 at 14.34.19

Manifestos are pretty important. Most companies, or magazines or people have them tucked away somewhere. A document that says “this is what we think!” and makes sure everyone within the organisation stays on the same path. My good friend Laura William’s has a manifesto on her blog and I thought: HEY, THAT’S A REALLY GOOD IDEA! But y’know, she is full of good ideas. I mean, she lives in Bali for goodness sake.

So what does it mean exactly? “A manifesto is a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government” according to good old Wikipeeds. Sounds pretty scary and formal, but really, when all boiled down, it is simply just a list of THINGS you BELIEVE. And try your hardest to stick to. So, I thought it was about time to do one, for myself.

I came across (also via Laura) this amazing piece called “5 Ways To Write A Blow-Your-Mind Manifesto” by Alexandra Franzen and really, it does what it says on the tin – it tells you exactly what to do. So I followed it… and I came up with this:

1. “Just tell us what you believe. Simple as that. One sentence, a bullet-point list, or a whole commencement address.”

  • I believe:
    • in equality
    • in cringe-inducing honesty
    • in prioritising family / loved ones
    • in having an unlikely role model
    • that we all change a little bit each day
    • that you can change your mind whenever you like
    • in exercising our voices
    • in curling up in fetal position with a book
    • that you can teach yourself to be happy everyday
    • holidays are crucial to sanity
    • you are who you surround yourself with (books included)
    • that lies get found out
    • that the smallest thing can make someone’s day
    • true friends stay around forever; others will dip in and out

2.  “Paint a vision of the world you want to live in. What’s different? What’s better? What’s easier?”

  • I want to live in a world where:
    • women’s bodies are not a democracy
    • we see different genders, races, sexualities, walks of life represented equally in the media
    • men and women get paid the same for doing the same job
    • we can all group together behind a cause that doesn’t have to be run by #BandAid
    • women don’t tear down other women
    • minorities aren’t treated as tokenistic (on panel shows, films, comedy)
    • not everything is treated as a competition
    • people aren’t bullied: IRL or on the Internet
    • homophobia doesn’t exist
    • equal opportunity exists in schools
    • there aren’t as many baby photos posted on Facebook

3. “Reveal a few undeniable truths — in a poem, an essay, or an elegant list:”

  • Here’s what I know for sure:
    • you never stop learning
    • mostly it just matters whether YOU think you can do it
    • a glass of wine/cup of tea with a friend solves a LOT of things
    • a problem shared genuinely feels like a problem halved
    • asking for help is hard but always a good thing
    • the importance of listening
    • being positive is a life choice
    • school doesn’t prepare you for the real shit
    • if you want to do something, you will.

4. “Share a collection of straight-shootin’ tips & advice, from the perspective of someone who’s not “perfect” — just a few steps ahead.”

  • “Don’t let anyone with bad eyebrows tell you shit about life” – Random quote on Pinterest
  • “I’m neither ‘pro-women’ nor ‘anti-men’. I’m just ‘Thumbs up for the six billion” – Caitlin Moran
  • People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they won’t forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou
  • “Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it.” – Amy Poehler
  • “There is no age-appropriate behaviour” – Lena Dunham
  • “No one else knows what they’re doing either” – Ricky Gervais
  • “But the reality is we often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be a selfish jackass first.” – Cheryl Strayed
  • “Drunk emotions aren’t real emotions” – Hannah Horvath
  • “Love everyone. Trust few. Paddle your own canoe.” —Anonymous

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?”

  • Work hard, be nice and take a nap if you want to.
  • Listen to Desert Island Discs from the 80’s and you’ll feel 98% better.
  • Write, but sometimes write just for yourself.
  • Stop worrying (says the world’s biggest worrier)
  • Plus everyone is too preoccupied to notice that thing you are worrying about
  • If the door swings open, go through it.
  • Fuck up, and try again.
  • Travel around. Breathing in different air is good for you.

Please tweet me your manifestos if you decide to do one xox

  • Great post- might have to steal the idea and think and post about my manifesto too!

  • Excellent manifesto, and I do not think there was one point in there I did not agree with.

    I have written some for myself over the years, with some variations though in essentials they remain the same.

    I will give some thought to this and over the next few days draft something and then tweet it to you.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Lorrie
    x

  • Kate

    Thank you for this post.

    Haven’t slept in well over a year, thanks baby girl! (I barely share any photos of her on fb though! ;). So writing inspired thoughts (or any thoughts at all, really) has been challenging recently but this post spurred a beautiful journaling session for me.

    Found you through Laura (whom I now receive #askthequestion from), whom I found through Wonderfully You. Rock on, you fantastic women! So fucking inspiring.

    PS. Cystitis IS a bitch.

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