Write Your Manifesto

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When you are clear about who you are as a writer—meaning you know what you write and for whom—you can create more coherently and productively. The tricky part is that people evolve. Life stages and life events will inevitably shape you. The words you read and write will transform you. And the company you keep will mirror you in ways that influence your path. Create your own writing manifesto, as Sage Cohen does in her book Fierce on the Page, to better understand your life and writing identity.

Review Your Plot

You have everything you need—and you are everything you need—to do the writing you are meant to do. And yet the path to success can be difficult to find and follow. Veteran author and writing guide Sage Cohen believes that ferocity should be your compass for finding your true way forward. She shows you how to transform your attitude and practices so you can:

  • Unleash your creativity
  • Cultivate your strengths
  • Overcome resistance, fear, and other obstacles
  • Define success on your own terms
  • Move intentionally toward your goals
  • Become unstoppable in your evolution

In this collection of contemplative and inspiring essays, you’ll unlock the secrets to naming your deepest desires, eliminating the things that are holding you back, and committing to your practice. Fierce on the Page is your trustworthy companion for crafting your best writing and your best life.

For many years, I thought my creative writing and marketing writing were two entirely separate enterprises—because they were. Likewise, I thought my lifelong pursuit of personal evolution had nothing to do with my writing life, even though writing was always my primary transportation toward healing, growth, clarity, and authenticity.

Now, thirty-plus years after I started writing poems in my pink suburban bedroom, twenty-plus years after I started writing professionally, and forty-five years after my journey on Earth began, my sense of myself as a writer and a human has coalesced. I can see and appreciate how writing poems makes me a more strategic business communicator. I can see how the virtues I cherish in friendship translate to the commitments I make to my students. And I understand that I write primarily to create transportation through transformation.

The going wisdom for writers is to specialize. As useful as it may be for you to home in on a specialty or two, this kind of focus runs the risk of missing the big picture of who you are as person and a writer. Is your writing identity expansive enough to include all of you? Is there some dimension of your writing life that you don’t think is “legitimate”? Could your writing identity use a bit of updating?

I have come to accept that the writing life is expansive enough to hold my many refractions, and that these add up to the whole of what I have to give. Today, I see my writing and teaching identity like this:

Stories are the currency of life and business. The stories we tell have the power to shape thought, feelings, choices, and lives. I use the written word to help people fulfill goals, make discoveries, and expand their sense of possibility, so that we all can write better and live better.

I call this my writing manifesto. It’s a distillation of what I believe about writing, what I value, and why I write. Informed by a lifetime of experience, my manifesto is the North Star of my writing practice. I have a printed copy hanging over my desk so I can call myself back when I’m lost, scared, or need to remind myself why the work I’m doing matters to me.

My manifesto will evolve as I do, challenging me to be bolder and braver in writing the words I am here to contribute. So can yours.

Be Fierce

Write your manifesto by summing up your writing life in three sentences:

  • What do you believe about writing in general?
  • What do you believe about your writing in particular?
  • What do you intend to accomplish in your writing life?

Don’t think about this too long—write what first comes to mind. Know that you can always update your manifesto as you understand more about your work and yourself.

Now post your writing manifesto prominently in a place where you can refer to it often. Then share it with our fierce writing community at fierceonthepage.com/manifesto. Declaring who you are as a writer is alchemical. Knowing where you’re headed and what makes your engine go can make you unstoppable.

About the Author:

Sage Cohen is the author of the nonfiction books Writing the Life Poetic and The Productive Writer, and the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World. Her prizewinning poems, essays, fiction, and how-to articles have been published widely, and Sage has been sought out as a literary instructor, writing coach, presenter, performer, and judge. As the founder of Sage Communications, she has been crafting the strategies and writing the words that accelerate business since 1997. Sage is a graduate of Brown University and the Creative Writing Program at New York University. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her young son and a menagerie of animals. Learn more at sagecohen.com.

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