A manifesto in 10 easy* steps**
I ask “why” a lot, and I’m a sucker for a great story. This is a big part of the reason I’m a writer.
Here at Blue Ion, I do a lot of writing. Perhaps the most meaningful writing I do is to help our clients tell their story. Not just about what they do or make, or how they do it, but why they do it.
In my experience, that’s where the best stories live: somewhere deep in the why.
That story of why is what we like to call a manifesto, and we’ve done it for many clients across an array of industries.
I recently gave a presentation about writing manifestos to the team here at Blue Ion, and thought I’d share a few tips from it on how, you too, can go forth and write a manifesto, and tell a great story.
A MANIFESTO IN 10 EASY* STEPS**
*It’s not easy.
**Nor is it 10 steps.
Immerse yourself in the client’s world. (i.e. interviews with their team, clients, vendors, tours, materials, competitors, inspirational brands, etc.)
Listen to what they say and don’t say; take notes constantly.
Read and research (things that are literally and tangentially connected and not connected at all). In a sentence, be willing to go down rabbit holes. You will be amazed at what you find.
Start writing and “wool gathering.” For me, wool gathering is bits of research, great lines from articles about the industry or subject matter, ephemera, soundbites from podcasts, movies, etc.
Keep writing (things are starting to form). You’ll be tempted to stop. Don’t.
Start cutting (never delete), editing, honing in on the higher order purpose. This is also usually the part where I change venue, walk, read people that inspire me (i.e. Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, David Kline, to name a few), do anything else except write.
Swear off writing for good.
Keep editing, sweating, and read aloud and listen for rhythm and pacing.
Ask trusted sources to review it (feedback is vital).
Read to client and wait (the longest 5 – 45 seconds of your life).