- A.E. Stalling’s Presto Manifesto!
- Jack Kerouac’s Belief & Technique for Modern Prose.
- Natalie Goldberg’s ‘Rules of Writing Practice’ in Wild Mind.
- Charles Bernstein’s Manifest Aversions, Conceptual Conundrums, & Implausibly Deniable Links.
- Copyblogger’s 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer.
- Keri Smith’s How to be an Explorer of the World.
What’s the difference between a writing manifesto and a set of writing rules? It is difficult to draw a line, I admit. I could say that a writing manifesto can be applied to other areas of life, but clearly that would involve truncating my list, and I’m not going to do that. I will therefore wriggle out of this question by vaguely claiming that writing rules are (or ought to be) practical in nature, while the manifesto’s purpose is to incite, ignite and inspire.
I think for this reason that they should be written in Smith’s style – in a rush of inspiration, perhaps on the back of a napkin using a free leaky biro, in wonky handwriting & long after midnight when a little intoxicated by life, sleep deprivation and caffeine. And like Kerouac – wildly abbreviated, capitalised, random & ungrammatically jolting one out of linguistic ruts.
Embrace the contradictory advice of these manifestos. Print them out and keep them in your wallet, hang them on yr wall, write them out in yr notebooks, read them every morning, chant them like mantras; “visionary tics shivering in the chest “!
Please tweet me any I might have missed!