"A public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature," according to whoever got at Wikipedia first. I'm not sure about political, although we all move and act in ways that are politically influenced without realising.
With the intention of giving my musical output a more focused identity, I've set about creating myself a manifesto of my own. I'm calling it my Music Manifesto, for now but I know it will be more specific eventually. I'm a big advocate of manifesting things into being. It's a trick that seems a little hokey at first but over the last 20 years it's proved itself very effective. The most simple method of doing it begins with identifying precisely what it is you want. And that alone is an achievement.
I have a notebook of affirmations and manifestations, several now actually, and they're filled with nothing but exactly what I want: Things I want to bring into being. I write them in the present tense, so that if you say them out loud, you're saying that it exists already. They include everything from finding a favourite pencil sharpener I lost years ago - buying a property that I wanted to live in - visiting a certain place - curing a friend of cancer. Obviously, my role in that last one was purely intentional as I'm not an oncologist, but the important thing is this:
The more specific the affirmation, the more likely it will manifest.
This little tip has proved itself over and over to me. Almost every single affirmation in my notebooks has a little tick next to it, with a date of when and how it came to be. The ones that didn't manifest all have something in common: they were too broad or too vague. In other words, not specific enough.
So with that in mind, I'm trying to find a way to apply this knowledge to a Music Manifesto of my own. I've looked up some online: I found a lot of those ghastly blocks of words in friendly fonts, telling you to believe in your soul, and just breathe, and walk in the forest every day, renew your inspiration, stab your eyes out with a rusty fork, murder your siblings etc.
So my manifesto will be a bit more direct. I like direct. And specific. And as soon as I write it (any day now, I'm sure of it) I will publish it, because it's just a to-do list, not a manifesto, until it's declared publicly.
You hear the word manifest a lot on ships. It's an odd word because it's used onboard in several contexts. For example, Ship's Manifest could mean a list of guests' names, or it could mean a description of what crates have been offloaded today, or a list of what musical instruments are currently onboard. Nevertheless, the important thing is that it's a list of specific, identifiable, unique things. So it's simply a case of identifying those specific things that apply uniquely to me and my music.