The tips here are geared for writers, but they can be applied to any path.
Think of your writing manifesto as a public statement which includes:
1) why you write
2) what threatens your passion (ultimately, your writing life)
3) why you will continue to write against all odds
-Keep it under 250 words
-Name your manifesto
-Use strong language. Use verbs. Start some sentences with: I will, It will, and It is
-Try starting a sentence or two with I have decided
-Give your manifesto a specific time frame
-Include one personalized detail from your writing life. It could be your favorite pencil or the kind of journal you prefer. Maybe it’s the kind of music you play in the background when writing or the type of tea you sip before you work. The idea behind this suggestion is to create a very personal and tangible connection to your goal.
-Identify the greatest threat to your passion (because passion fuels one’s creative force). Then, address in your manifesto how you will ameliorate that threat.
-Think about why you write. Then, think about why you don’t write when you’re not writing.
-Ask yourself, Why will I continue to write against all odds?
From Margaret Atwood’s Negotiating with the Dead ~
To record the world as it is. To set down the past before it is all forgotten. To excavate the past because it has been forgotten. To satisfy my desire for revenge. Because I knew I had to keep writing or else I would die. Because to write is to take risks, and it is only by taking risks that we know we are alive. To produce order out of chaos. To delight and instruct (not often found after the early twentieth century, or not in that form). To please myself. To express myself. To express myself beautifully. To create a perfect work of art. To reward the virtuous and punish the guilty; or—the Marquis de Sade defense, used by ironists—vice versa. To hold a mirror up to Nature. To hold a mirror up to the reader. To paint a portrait of society and its ills. To express the unexpressed life of the masses. To name the hitherto unnamed. To defend the human spirit, and human integrity and honor. To thumb my nose at Death. To make money so my children could have shoes.
From Terry Tempest Williams’ essay, “Why I Write” ~
I write myself out of nightmares and into my dreams. . . . I write to listen. . . . I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form words, to say words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient. . . . I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.
Andrea Lampman’s Summer, a manifesto
Books for Inspiration
Burn This Book, Edited by Toni Morrison
Why I Write: Thoughts on the Craft of Fiction, Edited by Will Blythe
The Poets’ Work, Edited by Reginald Gibbons
The Writing Life, Annie Dillard
Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
Why Poetry Matters, Jay Parini
The Writer as Migrant, Ha Jin
Why I Write, George Orwell
Joan Didion’s “Why I Write”
Stephen Elliott’s “Why I Write“