Hello fellow amphibians, this is Bjorn and today in the last quivering hours of 2017 the time has come to both reflect and look ahead. For many of us 2017 will stand out as an Annus Horribilis. I am sure that there have also been a year of positive changes but maybe we tend to focus on negative movements. It’s like weather, we remember the days of hurricanes and rain and forget the many days of sunshine. The good thing about stormy weather is how much we appreciate the days that follows.
What can we do then to make 2018 into an Annus Mirabilis?
Many times we focus on the changes we can do ourselves by giving new year’s resolutions, but having lived some years I have learned how much this means failures. At the end of the day we are all alone in our resolutions, and if we are really successful we might end up with a better body, a happier mind, we might have found a new love or made some improvements to the housed, but we have failed to change the world.
Through history change has been driven through movements, through inspired actions and through art, and at the core of change there is often a declaration or a manifesto.
Today I want you to write a manifesto, for yourself, for a group (real or imaginary), for your writing or for any cause you find important.
Analyzing manifestos we find some common themes:
Name your manifesto to make it clear what you want to achieve. (e.g. Declaration of independence, the Communist Manifesto)
Write it in first person (singular or plural
State the problem but do not dwell too much on what is wrong but focus on what you think is right and what should happen
Use strong language. Use verbs. Start sentences with a pronomen (I will…, we believe…, I have a dream …
If you use metaphors make them clear and not ambiguous. In a manifesto you can (and should) use cliches that are easily understandable
Focus on rhythm and cadence. A manifesto should be written to be spoken.
Use repetitions and rephrase the main points of what you want to change.
Identify any threats and tell us how to deal with them.
You might even quote famous passages from other works and manifestos, like Martin Luther King reminded us of the declaration of independence.
But primarily: try to win me over to your views.
If you want some inspiration why not listen to Martin Luther King
I wish you all a happy new year, and let us make 2018 the best year ever. I will return with my Physics Prompts during 2018.