Blog Like a Pro Lesson 1: Know What You’re About

This is Day 1 in our 7-day Blog Like a Pro (BLP) Challenge. If you missed yesterday’s lesson about launching your blog start there. Also, be sure to check in on Facebook to see what others are doing!

All great writing is about something bigger than the author. When you set out to build a community, you have to create something that’s bigger than you. And before you can do that, you have to know what you are all about.

Professionals Are Confident (BLP Day 1)

What’s your worldview? What gets under your skin? What wrecks you?

These are the questions great writers, and incidentally great bloggers, must ask themselves. The answer can something big and bold like women’s rights issues or something fun like dog sweaters. It doesn’t have to be serious to be important. And once you’ve identified it, that thing you’re writing about, you’ve created something powerful for your readers to connect with.

By the way, this is not a subject I’m talking about. It’s bigger than that. An overarching theme to every word you write, everything you have to say. In writing, the why should always be bigger than the what.

Where we begin

So where do you begin? Start here: with a manifesto.

A manifesto is a short, shareable document that makes an argument, that tells the world what you’re about. It’s something that picks a fight, makes a stand, gets people to stand up and say “yes I agree with this” or “no way!”.

The point of a manifesto is that it makes you draw a line in the sand, which forces you to clarify your message. But before you do that, you have to know what you’re about. Right?

So let’s clarify what you have to say.

The power of clarity

Just how powerful is a manifesto? Well, here are a few examples:

  • The Declaration of Independence, which initiated America’s fight for independence, is a manifesto. It’s incredibly short (a single-paged, handwritten letter). But there’s a lot of power packed in that brevity.
  • Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, which sparked the Protestant Reformation and changed the face of one of the world’s largest religions forever, was also a manifesto. It was a list of grievances Luther had with the Catholic Church. Sometimes, complaining can be the way that leads to change.
  • The Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx was nothing more than a pamphlet about inequality amongst the world’s workers, and yet it sparked a global revolution. When you use words to tap into what people are feeling deep down inside, you have unmatched power to lead and motivate others to action.

As you can see, words move people. That part is hard to contest. But be careful with this power. You need to point it in the right direction. Otherwise, you’re playing with fire.

So what kind of movement will your words create? Begin by focusing your message on what you’re about and why it matters. That’s where all great writing starts and where all important movements start.

The best way I know how to do that is to write a manifesto. Just draft a few hundred words answering the following questions:

  1. What’s the problem? This can be with the government, the world, or some niche hobby.
  2. What’s the solution? What do you propose we do to fix this problem?
  3. What’s the next step? What is the one call-to-action you want to leave people with? Tell me them to do that one thing.

For an example of a manifesto, which is only 900 words and has been inspiring hundreds of thousands of people for years, you can read mine here.

day1-ig

Assignment: Write a manifesto: a 500-word treatise on what you’re about. Then publish it and share it in the comments.

233 thoughts on “Blog Like a Pro Lesson 1: Know What You’re About

  1. Is this the first in the seven day challenge? Folks are waiting for emails or fb post. Off to a bumpy start!

      1. Thanks! Since I’ve got ya here…can you also check on the free webclass issue. No matter what day you sign up for, the registration link is for noon edt today.

  2. Here’s my manifesto:
    I decided to use a blog as a means of promoting a book which I am composing. I say ‘composing’ rather than writing as it consists mainly of letters written by my mother throughout the Second World War to my father who was away for 6 years with one or two short home leaves. She later became a well-known writer and biographer, and her lively style is apparent in these letters and makes them a good read as well as interesting information. Apart from the interesting subject matter, the real reason for wanting to publish is the great style, lively mind and good read that they present.

    My input is editing and commenting. I was 22 months when the war began but I remember some of the incidents described in her letters. My mother’s life during the war illustrates the power that women can bring to a situation, and thus the story has an element of feminism. She bought a farm and learnt to manage it. There are interesting stories about success and failure in agriculture and the management of farm workers – including difficulties with men unused to a female boss. She felt critical of much of the management of the war, from a civilian point of view, and often criticised the Ministry of Information. Her reaction to war events is written as they occurred. She wrote two books about her experiences at the time. She was bringing up 2 small children and trying to raise them according to principles developed before her life was ruined by war.

    The blog, entitled ‘A Woman’s War’ ( http://www.womanswar.com), has an introduction and an About page, which gives the essential background information about my parents, then in their early thirties, who both became well-known in their own right.

    The letters are then presented, with interesting photographs to accompany them, and notes of explanation where necessary. There is quite a cast of characters and these are also introduced where necessary. Each blog is between 500 and 2000 words and the letters are presented chronologically.

    For this reason it is not quite like a normal blog, as the blog posts are not independent of each other. They should, ideally, be read in order from first to latest. I started the blog to help me organise and think out how best to use the letters in a book which will follow, and be based on the blog with probably slightly more of the original material. In order to keep the blogs short and concise I have cut the letters quite hard, but will use more of the material in a book.

    In one way the blog has already achieved part of its purpose as it has helped me to think about the material in a constructive and organised way. I am en route to the book. I am not sure whether doing it like this, chronologically and almost in a series form, will work, but it is worth a try and fun to do.

  3. Thanks Jeff. I have to confess I’ve struggled with a manifesto for years. Simply could not get all the bits and pieces in place as I have attempted to zero in on the passion and purpose (and audience). I think this challenge is going to be transformational in many ways.

  4. My Manifesto can be found on the about page of my webpage/blog: ronpitzen.com

    I’ll post it here as well:

    Manifesto

    In the words of Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (people) to do nothing.” I have been captivated by the implications of those words since I first read them in seminary. Every person has enough of the prophetic built into their soul to recognize at least one significant evil in the world surrounding them. The first step is to identify an evil (a brokenness in the world) and clearly admit my part in it – or my responsibility as a citizen of the world to work toward correcting it. Once admitted, though, my first response seems always to be, “As but one person, what can I do about that?” My sense of powerlessness tends then to become my excuse: “How can my single vote change the direction of this country?” “Even if I call the police when I hear the neighbor slam his terrified wife against our common wall, he’ll just be out of jail in two days and abusing her even worse!” If you’re at all like me, you know the list goes on and on. Woes me, what can little ole me do, anyway? The problem is as much this brokenness in me as it is the brokenness in the world around me!

    To quote Edmund Burke just once more, “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” BUSTED! No legitimate excuses for my lack of involvement – and none for yours! What I am called to do in the face of evil is unique to me, different than what you are called to do, but we are all called to respond. Your call-to-action is different than mine – not better or worse, but different and every bit as necessary. No one can determine for me or impose upon me the attitude or activity that will chip away at evil in the world around me. And because I cannot, I will not attempt to determine or impose that upon you. I believe this, though: each of us is born with a unique array of gifts (talents), personality traits and strengths – and that we were created precisely for this time in the world and for the challenges that face us all today. I have identified my gifts and I am training them to more effectively impact the world. My call has changed and adapted over time, but I know what that is for today. In terms of blogging personalities, I am both prophet and professor, a writer and a teacher. I will write. I will travel to teach.

    Your turn: Identify your gifts (talents) and train them if needs be, but don’t use unpreparedness as an excuse to tarry. Accept and embrace your call and employ your gifts to meet the demand — the call that has self-identified within you. Seek out counsel if you feel stuck or confused in this process, but wait to begin responding no longer. Our world is in desperate need of the person that is uniquely you.

  5. Hope I didn’t screw up by posting the manifesto here in comments. I see many/most people just included a link to their page. Assignment: Write a manifesto: a 500-word treatise on what you’re about. Then publish it and share it in the comments. I apologize in advance if it didn’t belong here.

  6. ok here is mine be kind I am not a professional writer lol published on https://www.tumblr.com/blog/beautyqueenconfessions

    Why I write – My manifesto! Lol! Just that word manifesto sends waves of fear into my body! I think of all the crazy people that write a manifesto. Well consider one more crazy writing hers… I started this blog several years ago after returning to the Miss Oklahoma pageant almost 30 years after I had won the title in 1983. I remember the fear I felt on returning after all those years, how I looked, what I had accomplished since then.

    I also felt the fear of returning to Miss Oklahoma Out! I came out 3 years after I competed for Miss America. What would people think? What did they know? I remember that feeling of uncertainty when the pageant asked me to send a bio and a picture. I had recently married my girlfriend and thought well, I guess this is it! Winning Miss Oklahoma at 20 years old was my biggest accomplishment at the time and my question was: what have I accomplished since then? What do I have to show for it?

    29 years later, in my mind, not much lol! I mean I wasn’t a well known singer which was my goal back then. I was working in a field that I knew really nothing about, more out of necessity than something I felt excited about. But after I posted some of my experiences on facebook after I had made my visit, several people said that I should start a blog, to tell people of my experiences. So I began this journey. It was easy at first because I had so many things on my mind to write. I love competition shows, I was a strong advocate for pageants and spoke out about my life experiences in the gay world. I love animals and have used my voice to promote rescues and the stopping of puppy mills. Then I just sort of drifted away and kept more to facebook and twitter with my posts and stopped writing in my blog.

    Then, Robin Williams committed suicide, and it hit me….

    If I could do but one thing, and show one person that felt alone, that they were not, then I will have accomplished something.

    Once I realized that the funniest man I didn’t know succumbed to the loneliness that is depression my whole outlook changed. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good snarky comment and still like to poke fun when I tweet about American idol or other reality type shows but now I know that I can use whatever knowledge insight, opinion or really just a moment to say hey you are not alone to maybe make someone’s life better. And now with this blog writing challenge it has actually clarified why I started this blog in the first place. A view from my closet is more than just a view thru high heels and a tiara but what I learned and how can I help? If my words can start a conversation that will help then I have achieved more than I could have hoped.

    1. “When we live loved we live free.” Amen! I love your heart!!! I pray God uses your blog to encourage women and point them to Jesus!

  7. Here is a copy of my manifesto, this is why I started my work on my website:

    I hate the term “trauma survivor” whether it be a sexual assault, combat, or being mugged or threatened. This term a generic label that has no impact anymore. It allows everyone to stand outside of what this means for so many people. I would like, instead to be seen as a woman who is a trauma survivalist who walked away from the violence with amazing survival skills that kept me alive and functioning throughout my experiences and getting on with living my life. Those who are survivalist are a unique group of individuals who should be celebrated as they the heroes of their own stories rather than be treated like victims whose lives are know lived trying to get and keep their Post Traumatic Stress symptoms under control.

    I propose that we begin a new movement to begin to recognize those survival skills and rather than shrink from them as a symptom embrace them. To begin to understand how they worked in our lives. To understand how we changed the destructive actions in our lives and changed them from destructive to constructive. Many of us “Trauma Survivalists” have done this in our lives but not shared our stories of how we have gone from being a victim, (my definition is when you have no control over what is being done to you) to becoming a survivalist, where you have fought your way back to the light.

    My call to action is for those of us who are “trauma survivalist” to begin telling our stories rather than hide in the shadows. It took my over 30 years to claim that title after a sexual assault in my barracks room took my planned trajectory of my life filled with hope and challenges into the shadows of victimhood filled with shame. I am coming out of the shadows to fight for my right to be a hero rather than a victim to a society who has put a label filled with shame on me.

    I challenge those who have been labeled a victim to begin telling their story below in the comment section or start blogging about their experience. We need to take back the term hero for trauma survivors and refuse to be considered a victim any longer.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had to go through something so difficult, but I’m SO THANKFUL that you are redeeming what was meant to harm you and use it for good, to encourage and love other people who have had a similar experience. 🙂 Thank you for your courage to share!

  8. Hey guys! I’m loving this challenge! And I’m terrified!
    Loving all of the engagement and community and encouragement!!!

    “The Modern Woman’s Manifesto: a passionate call to throw off the expectations of the world and live radically out of our identity in Christ.”

    (I totally just finished writing my manifesto last month! But it’s longer than 500 words, and I want to wait to publish until I officially launch the blog, which is very soon. Is that OK? I can fix that if I need to) 🙂 BTW: the formatting is kind of goofy, pasting it onto here. 🙂

    The Modern Woman’s Manifesto: a passionate call to throw off the world’s expectations and live radically out of our identity in Christ

    I’m a woman…

    and I’m over it. I’m done.

    I mean, I’m so done.

    I’m throwing my hands in the air.

    I’m waving the white flag.

    I’ve fought long enough. And I’m tired.

    Today, I give up the fight.

    I surrender.

    I’ve fought against the the world’s impossible standards for too long,

    and I’ve lost.

    Every.

    Time.

    I’ve desperately tried to fit the culture’s caricature of what a woman

    ought to do and be:

    • prepare uber-healthy meals from only organic-grass-fed- local-farm-fresh foods

    • decorate a home worthy of a magazine cover

    maintain movie-star, air-brushed beauty without the

    stardom or the airbrush

    rise to the top in all work and volunteer endeavors

    • raise children who prance around obeying all directives with a wink and a smile

    • Drag your kids for one activity to the next, driving them to be the shining star in school, sports and hobbies

    run yourself ragged, serving others and filling in every

    foreseeable need

    • be diligent to keep fingerprints off your windows {pointless} and toothpaste out of your sinks {bahaha}

    • showcase your schnazzy crafty skills and mommy- superstardom through Pinterest-perfect parties for your little prince or princess…

    • and….and….and…..

    I want off this ride.

    Because I’m exhausted.

    and I feel empty.

    My heart is weary.

    And I

    just.

    can’t.

    do.

    it.

    anymore.

    I’ve gone dumpster diving for an identity, and I’ve come up

    empty-handed

    and

    battle-worn.

    I refuse to believe any longer the lie that my identity is in the things of

    this world.

    The lie that my identity is in:

    The brands of my clothes,

    The parties that I hostess,

    The car that I drive

    or the home that I live in.

    The size dress that I wear,

    The beauty of my face,

    The attractiveness of my body

    or my desirability to men.

    My economical status,

    My worldly success,

    My accomplishments

    or my position.

    My motherhood or my inability to have children,

    My marriage or my singleness.

    My physical attributes,

    My personality,

    My talents

    or my gifts.

    My hobbies,

    My political party,

    My tribe

    or my cause.

    My children,

    My husband,

    My friends,

    or my family.

    How many “likes” and “shares”,

    or how many “followers” I have.

    My goodness or my virtue,

    my sin or my failures.

    What others believe that I am.

    or what others say that I am,

    or even, what I think that I am.

    Well, I refuse to believe the lie any longer.

    Because today marks the end of the fight.

    Today marks a new beginning.

    Today I come armed with Truth.

    The Truth that alone can set me free.

    The Truth that alone can win the battle, once and for all.

    The Truth of the Gospel, that:

    Jesus died for me, a sinner, and has forgiven me,

    in Christ Jesus

    The Truth that:

    YES, I am sinful, but I am forgiven, in Christ.

    YES, I am empty, but Jesus alone fills me up.

    YES, I am broken, but Jesus makes me whole.

    YES, I am weak, but Jesus is my strength.

    YES, I am imperfect, but Jesus was perfect in my place.

    The Truth that, NO, I’m NOT worthy,

    ….but Jesus loves the unworthy! Jesus died for the unworthy!

    The Truth that my Identity is in Christ alone.

    That In Christ:

    I am faithful (Ephesians 1:1)

    I am God’s child (John 1:12)

    I have been justified (Romans 5:1)

    I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)

    I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)

    I am a member of Christ’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:27)

    I am assured all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)

    I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

    I am confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6)

    I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)

    I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)

    I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self- discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)

    I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)

    I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)

    I am chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11)

    I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)

    I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)

    I am given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Ephesians 1:5,8)

    I am in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)

    I have redemption (Ephesians 1:8)

    I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)

    I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11)

    I have hope (Ephesians 1:12)

    I am included (Ephesians 1:13)

    I am sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)

    I am a saint (Ephesians 1:18)

    I am salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14)

    I have been chosen and God desires me to bear fruit (John 15:1,5)

    I am a personal witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)

    I am God’s coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1)

    I am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)

    I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)

    I am raised up with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12)

    I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)

    I have been shown the incomparable riches of God’s grace

    (Ephesians 2:7)

    God has expressed His kindness to me (Ephesians 2:7)

    I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)

    I have been brought near to God through Christ’s blood (Ephesians 2:13)

    I have peace (Ephesians 2:14)

    I have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)

    I am a member of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19)

    I am secure (Ephesians 2:20)

    I am a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19)

    I am a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)

    I share in the promise of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6)

    God’s power works through me (Ephesians 3:7)

    I can approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3:12)

    I know there is a purpose for my sufferings (Ephesians 3:13)

    I can grasp how wide, long, high and deep Christ’s love is (Ephesians 3:18)

    I am completed by God (Ephesians 3:19)

    I can bring glory to God (Ephesians 3:21)

    I have been called (Ephesians 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:9)

    I can be humble, gentle, patient and lovingly tolerant of others (Ephesians 4:2)

    I can mature spiritually (Ephesians 4:15)

    I can be certain of God’s truths and the lifestyle which He has

    called me to (Ephesians 4:17)

    I can have a new attitude and a new lifestyle (Eph.4:21-32)

    I can be kind and compassionate to others (Ephesians 4:32)

    I can forgive others (Ephesians 4:32)

    I am a light to others, and can exhibit goodness, righteousness and truth (Ephesians 5:8-9)

    I can understand what God’s will is (Ephesians 5:17)

    I can give thanks for everything (Ephesians 5:20)

    I don’t have to always have my own agenda (Ephesians 5:21)

    I can honor God through marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33)

    I can parent my children with composure (Ephesians 6:4)

    I can be strong (Ephesians 6:10)

    I have God’s power (Ephesians 6:10)

    I can stand firm in the day of evil (Ephesians 6:13)

    I am dead to sin (Romans 1:12)

    I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)

    I am growing (Colossians 2:7)

    I am His disciple (John 13:15)

    I am prayed for by Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23)

    I am united with other believers (John 17:20-23)

    I am not in want (Philippians 4:19)

    I possess the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)

    I am promised eternal life (John 6:47)

    I am promised a full life (John 10:10)

    I am victorious (I John 5:4)

    My heart and mind is protected with God’s peace (Phil . 4:7)

    I am chosen and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)

    I am blameless (I Corinthians 1:8)

    I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32)

    I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)

    I am a light in the world (Matthew 5:14)

    I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)

    I am the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)

    I am safe (I John 5:18)

    I am part of God’s kingdom (Revelation 1:6)

    I am healed from sin (I Peter 2:24)

    I am no longer condemned (Romans 8:1, 2)

    I am not helpless (Philippians 4:13)

    I am overcoming (I John 4:4)

    I am persevering (Philippians 3:14)

    I am protected (John 10:28)

    I am born again (I Peter 1:23)

    I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

    I am delivered (Colossians 1:13)

    I am redeemed from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13)

    I am qualified to share in His inheritance (Colossians 1:12)

    I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)

    And because of these truths, I am set free.

    Free to be imperfect.

    Free to fail.

    Free to stop striving.

    Free to stop competing with other women,

    and love them as Christ loved me.

    Free to stop seeking my own glory,

    and live for glory of God.

    Free to live out of my identity in Christ.

    Free to rest in Christ.

    Free to worship Jesus alone.

    Yes, today, I surrender.

    Today, I give up the fight.

    Today, I’m throwing my hands in the air,

    in worship

    and

    surrender

    to the One who set me free.

    to the One who won the battle for me.

    to the One in whom my soul finds rest.

    The Modern Woman’s Manifesto:

    a passionate call to throw off the world’s expectations and

    live radically out of our identity in Christ

    I’m a woman…

    and I’m over it. I’m done.

    I mean, I’m so done.

    I’m throwing my hands in the air.

    I’m waving the white flag.

    I’ve fought long enough. And I’m tired.

    Today, I give up the fight.

    I surrender.

    I’ve fought against the the world’s impossible standards for too long,

    and I’ve lost.

    Every.

    Time.

    I’ve desperately tried to fit the culture’s caricature of what a woman

    ought to do and be:

    • prepare uber-healthy meals from only organic-grass-fed- local-farm-fresh foods

    • decorate a home worthy of a magazine cover

    maintain movie-star, air-brushed beauty without the

    stardom or the airbrush

    rise to the top in all work and volunteer endeavors

    • raise children who prance around obeying all directives with a wink and a smile

    • Drag your kids for one activity to the next, driving them to be the shining star in school, sports and hobbies

    run yourself ragged, serving others and filling in every

    foreseeable need

    • be diligent to keep fingerprints off your windows {pointless} and toothpaste out of your sinks {bahaha}

    • showcase your schnazzy crafty skills and mommy- superstardom through Pinterest-perfect parties for your little prince or princess…

    • and….and….and…..

    I want off this ride.

    Because I’m exhausted.

    and I feel empty.

    My heart is weary.

    And I

    just.

    can’t.

    do.

    it.

    anymore.

    I’ve gone dumpster diving for an identity, and I’ve come up

    empty-handed

    and

    battle-worn.

    I refuse to believe any longer the lie that my identity is in the things of

    this world.

    The lie that my identity is in:

    The brands of my clothes,

    The parties that I hostess,

    The car that I drive

    or the home that I live in.

    The size dress that I wear,

    The beauty of my face,

    The attractiveness of my body

    or my desirability to men.

    My economical status,

    My worldly success,

    My accomplishments

    or my position.

    My motherhood or my inability to have children,

    My marriage or my singleness.

    My physical attributes,

    My personality,

    My talents

    or my gifts.

    My hobbies,

    My political party,

    My tribe

    or my cause.

    My children,

    My husband,

    My friends,

    or my family.

    How many “likes” and “shares”,

    or how many “followers” I have.

    My goodness or my virtue,

    my sin or my failures.

    What others believe that I am.

    or what others say that I am,

    or even, what I think that I am.

    Well, I refuse to believe the lie any longer.

    Because today marks the end of the fight.

    Today marks a new beginning.

    Today I come armed with Truth.

    The Truth that alone can set me free.

    The Truth that alone can win the battle, once and for all.

    The Truth of the Gospel, that:

    Jesus died for me, a sinner, and has forgiven me,

    in Christ Jesus

    The Truth that:

    YES, I am sinful, but I am forgiven, in Christ.

    YES, I am empty, but Jesus alone fills me up.

    YES, I am broken, but Jesus makes me whole.

    YES, I am weak, but Jesus is my strength.

    YES, I am imperfect, but Jesus was perfect in my place.

    The Truth that, NO, I’m NOT worthy,

    ….but Jesus loves the unworthy! Jesus died for the unworthy!

    The Truth that my Identity is in Christ alone.

    That In Christ:

    I am faithful (Ephesians 1:1)

    I am God’s child (John 1:12)

    I have been justified (Romans 5:1)

    I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)

    I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)

    I am a member of Christ’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:27)

    I am assured all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)

    I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

    I am confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6)

    I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)

    I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)

    I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self- discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)

    I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)

    I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)

    I am chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11)

    I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)

    I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)

    I am given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Ephesians 1:5,8)

    I am in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)

    I have redemption (Ephesians 1:8)

    I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)

    I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11)

    I have hope (Ephesians 1:12)

    I am included (Ephesians 1:13)

    I am sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)

    I am a saint (Ephesians 1:18)

    I am salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14)

    I have been chosen and God desires me to bear fruit (John 15:1,5)

    I am a personal witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)

    I am God’s coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1)

    I am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)

    I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)

    I am raised up with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12)

    I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)

    I have been shown the incomparable riches of God’s grace

    (Ephesians 2:7)

    God has expressed His kindness to me (Ephesians 2:7)

    I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)

    I have been brought near to God through Christ’s blood (Ephesians 2:13)

    I have peace (Ephesians 2:14)

    I have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)

    I am a member of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19)

    I am secure (Ephesians 2:20)

    I am a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19)

    I am a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)

    I share in the promise of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6)

    God’s power works through me (Ephesians 3:7)

    I can approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3:12)

    I know there is a purpose for my sufferings (Ephesians 3:13)

    I can grasp how wide, long, high and deep Christ’s love is (Ephesians 3:18)

    I am completed by God (Ephesians 3:19)

    I can bring glory to God (Ephesians 3:21)

    I have been called (Ephesians 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:9)

    I can be humble, gentle, patient and lovingly tolerant of others (Ephesians 4:2)

    I can mature spiritually (Ephesians 4:15)

    I can be certain of God’s truths and the lifestyle which He has

    called me to (Ephesians 4:17)

    I can have a new attitude and a new lifestyle (Eph.4:21-32)

    I can be kind and compassionate to others (Ephesians 4:32)

    I can forgive others (Ephesians 4:32)

    I am a light to others, and can exhibit goodness, righteousness and truth (Ephesians 5:8-9)

    I can understand what God’s will is (Ephesians 5:17)

    I can give thanks for everything (Ephesians 5:20)

    I don’t have to always have my own agenda (Ephesians 5:21)

    I can honor God through marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33)

    I can parent my children with composure (Ephesians 6:4)

    I can be strong (Ephesians 6:10)

    I have God’s power (Ephesians 6:10)

    I can stand firm in the day of evil (Ephesians 6:13)

    I am dead to sin (Romans 1:12)

    I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)

    I am growing (Colossians 2:7)

    I am His disciple (John 13:15)

    I am prayed for by Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23)

    I am united with other believers (John 17:20-23)

    I am not in want (Philippians 4:19)

    I possess the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)

    I am promised eternal life (John 6:47)

    I am promised a full life (John 10:10)

    I am victorious (I John 5:4)

    My heart and mind is protected with God’s peace (Phil . 4:7)

    I am chosen and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)

    I am blameless (I Corinthians 1:8)

    I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32)

    I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)

    I am a light in the world (Matthew 5:14)

    I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)

    I am the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)

    I am safe (I John 5:18)

    I am part of God’s kingdom (Revelation 1:6)

    I am healed from sin (I Peter 2:24)

    I am no longer condemned (Romans 8:1, 2)

    I am not helpless (Philippians 4:13)

    I am overcoming (I John 4:4)

    I am persevering (Philippians 3:14)

    I am protected (John 10:28)

    I am born again (I Peter 1:23)

    I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

    I am delivered (Colossians 1:13)

    I am redeemed from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13)

    I am qualified to share in His inheritance (Colossians 1:12)

    I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)

    And because of these truths, I am set free.

    Free to be imperfect.

    Free to fail.

    Free to stop striving.

    Free to stop competing with other women,

    and love them as Christ loved me.

    Free to stop seeking my own glory,

    and live for glory of God.

    Free to live out of my identity in Christ.

    Free to rest in Christ.

    Free to worship Jesus alone.

    Yes, today, I surrender.

    Today, I give up the fight.

    Today, I’m throwing my hands in the air,

    in worship

    and

    surrender

    to the One who set me free.

    to the One who won the battle for me.

    to the One in whom my soul finds rest.

    1. I love the message. I think it posted twice. 🙂 I love your passion for being the woman GOD created you to be.

        1. Bah! I keep trying to fix it and the screen shifts and does goofy things. :/ Ah well…

  9. Here’s an excerpt of mine:

    Writer’s Next Step is a place for determined writers to come together in a community of encouragement and growth. A place where we hold each other accountable and we offer more than kind words (although we offer those too….) It’s a place where we solve problems. Where we share tips and steps and actionable information.

    Read the rest here: https://writersnextstep.com/manifesto

  10. I really liked this, at first I wasn’t sure if it would fit in with my blog’s theme but it actually ended up tying in very well. Here’s a link and a copy of it: https://www.theswisslife.com/manifesto/

    My manifesto:

    Experiencing and hearing about prejudice and discrimination related to people’s backgrounds, culture or skin color is extremely upsetting to me every single time. It never lessens. Hearing someone condemn an entire population of people based on one experience, something that was seen in the media, something passed on to you as a child or just plain ignorance, ruffles my feathers like nothing else.

    I was blessed to be born in the USA and grow up in a comfortable middle class family who encouraged my curiosity and love for learning. In this way I grew up loving languages and cultures and had many friends that were immigrants in elementary school and beyond. There was so much to learn from them and a whole wide world to explore! New music, food, holidays – I soaked it all up and it widened my life in a way that nothing else could have. Sadly, I know not everyone gets these experiences and some people are not exposed to other ways of life from an early age. They may even be actively taught that those “other” people are bad. But, I know for a fact that beliefs can change and that the world would be a better place if there was more understanding and dialogue between groups.

    I truly believe that the antidote for prejudice is education, especially first-hand experiences. Of course there are still extreme (and heartbreaking) cases where a mother or father disowns their own child for being gay or something similar. But in general, if one comes to know someone from another walk of life, be that muslim, from another country, or gay; common ground can be found and those prejudices are chipped away at until they eventually crumble. Alternatively, just hearing from someone they love and trust that those “others” are not necessarily bad can also facilitate a change in beliefs. My life’s purpose is to help facilitate those dialogs, to aid in cultural and knowledge exchanges so that others can see the beauty of the differences in all of us, large or small. Of course there will be things that people disagree on, that’s part of being human, but without the hatred and walls of prejudice we open up the path to dialogue and creating compromise. And that leaves us all better off in the end.

    This blog specifically focuses on Swiss culture, purely because I was fortunate enough to marry into a wonderful Swiss family and I want to pass that on to my son. But I can assure you that we incorporate a lot of the wonderful cultures that surround us into our lives us and have amazing friends from all over that help with this. Sudanese, Indian, Mexican, the list goes on. If one of us does overhear someone saying something negative about an entire group of people we speak up and remind them that one person’s actions do not portray a whole population. Even better is countering with an example of a positive influence from that group of people.

    It’s not always easy to stand up for others but it’s worth it in the end. I have to admit that when I moved to Switzerland I encountered a lot more racism and prejudice than I was expecting. Even within my own, new family. I took the time and countered their comments at every opportunity, in a diplomatic and understanding way, of course. Though it was hard to openly disagree with them at first (I avoid conflict by nature) I saw first hand how doing this repeatedly slowly changed their beliefs and they are now more open and understanding of differences. So it is possible for one person to help make a change. I would ask you to do the same and through our combined efforts I believe that one day we can overcome this issue.

  11. Hello, Jeff. Ok, blog setup. Brief Introduction and Leadership Manifesto published. Leveraged the structure of your wonderful manifesto to get started – thank you for that. Also, that you for the challenge to rally us to do the work. Manifesto needs more work, but alas I must “ship” for now. boundarylessleadership.com

    1. “Real leaders wake every morning in service to a purpose bigger than themselves.” Loved this comment Scott! Great manifesto

  12. Hey Y’all,

    I have to say I enjoyed the challenge, that being keeping it to 500 words. I couldn’t do it… lol.

    I have written several things already that could be consider a manifesto of sorts, I guess but they are all much longer. Today after a few attempts I got it dowm to around 760 and it still feels cut short.

    http://www.thesoulfan.com/soul-fan-credo

    Stephen

    1. Sara, I love the pic on the home page. It’s an awesome gateway to you and what you are about.

      1. Thanks! I have tried for years to take my own photos or create my own images, but I recently discovered pixabay.com. It’s a free source for free-to-use photos — and wonderful. I have found a few photos there that I have been able to make my own, but yesterday when I wrote the manifesto and then did a search for an image, I found that one and thought it absolutely perfect. So I get no credit for the image — just for finding one that so aptly matched my manifesto. 🙂 Glad you liked it.

  13. Done…it actually turned out to be easier than I thought…www.jkballentine.com/manifesto

  14. Thank you for this post! I just started blogging a couple months ago and kicked everything off with a post that mirrors this assignment pretty closely. I had not originally included a next step for other people (only a selfish next step for myself– I don’t think I expect other people to ever be reading the blog), but I did update the post to include this vital question. https://brumbaughdom.com/life-changing/

  15. My blog may be a little different topic than most, it’s about youth sports and play. I hope you all enjoy reading it! Here’s my post for this challenge. thefirstquarter.net/five-theses-play-environment

  16. “Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” –Democritus. thesouljar.com/blog/my-manifesto

  17. I wound up adding about 300 words to my Home page, and I know that I added much needed clarity and focus. I added a “What Matters Most” subsection. If you’re curious, take a quick look here kendallkolheim.com.

  18. My full manifesto is my lead magnet at the moment, but this was a good exercise in being more concise. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on it because of another project that is on a deadline, so I may go back and tweak this when I have more time tomorrow. But anyway, here’s Day !.My blog is essentially about my writing journey and encouraging others with creative goals to continue to pursue them regardless of job and/or life circumstances. https://www.melanieglinsmann.com/?p=230

  19. Thanks Jeff! So excited about this challenge. Today’s exercise was “challenging,” but super helpful. I’ve been struggling with how to coalesce different topics together into one overlay theme. This helped me tie things together better. Looking forward to more!

    If any of you have feedback I’d love to hear it! I’d also love to reciprocate. Thanks!

    https://www.yourdreamrealized.com/are-you-ready-to-realize-your-dream/

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