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The Wilson Manifesto

A Public Declaration of a War

Adam Wilson
filed 09/01/03

manifesto: (man'i*fes"to)

A public declaration, usually of a prince, sovereign, or other person claiming large powers, showing his intentions, or proclaiming his opinions and motives in reference to some act done or contemplated by him; as, a manifesto declaring the purpose of a prince to begin war, and explaining his motives - Bouvier
--Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary © 1996

One thing's for sure, I want to write. I love the craft. Hell, I still write on PAPER with a PEN and then retype it and save it in computer disks. There's something about handwriting that makes the writing seem more magical. That, and when you can't afford a laptop, writing on the go has to be done on something.

I want to be a cherished author of my time. Well, maybe not. I want people to read my writing and enjoy it. I want them to go, 'wow, that guy's really good. What other books has he written?' I want to be able to make enough money through writing that I can write for a living. I don't know if it's the fact that I'd love to be able to work at home and not worry about showering or changing out of my pajamas every day, or that I'm really that anti-social.

I want to write books that make people think or feel some kind of emotion. I want to write Last of the Crazy People; I want to write High Fidelity; I want to write Fight Club and Generation X and Such is my Beloved and Iced. I want cult hero status.

That's where people love you, and make websites about you, but they're not dot coms, they're dot nets, right? Or they make t-shirts about you, with your book titles on the front, and snappy little slogans on the back. Or people do the same things that characters in the book and blame you for making them go fucking crazy. That's what cult status is. Right?

I want to have three e-mail accounts. One for e-mail from friends; one for e-mail from my book editor and the people at the publishing house, and one for e-mail from rabid fans asking me things like: 'are you married?' and 'when is your next book coming out?' and 'remember that part in (insert unwritten book title here) where (insert unwritten character here) did that thing and that other person did this in retaliation? That was cool.'

I want to go to the United States and talk with some Hollywood bastard producer about how much money he wants to give me to turn one of my books into sell-out trash starring the hot teen star at the time, and how it's going to have a blazing soundtrack featuring a new song by some crappy trend band that's on the radio all the time. I tell them it's supposed to be more conservative than that; it's supposed to be a little more serious.

"I was thinking Bruce Springsteen for the soundtrack," I say to the producer.

"Bruce who?" the producer says. "It's all about Britney and Backstreet these days."

I collect my nice royalty cheque after the movie makes decent cash during the summer when every teenager in North America goes to see this sell-out film. I buy a laptop computer and a new pair of glasses with the money and sink the rest into something I REALLY don't need... like a BMW or 1% of the Toronto Maple Leafs that I bought on E-Bay.

I want to live long and write lots. I want to have a bookshelf full of my own books and pictures of me with famous people who tell me 'I love your books.' I want to be famous, but not Stephen King famous; I don't want people breaking into my house to sniff my underwear and steal the 'a' key on my keyboard. I want to make people happy. I people to enjoy reading again, and I want them to enjoy reading because of what I wrote.

I want to be a writer.

I want to change people with my writing.

I want them to think once in a while about something other than what they're having for dinner or what time the ER reruns are on.

I have a master plan. It involves subliminal messages hidden within the words of my writing that encourage readers to keep reading. A wave of reading will sweep the nation and then the world. People will know who you're talking about when you say a name like Chuck Palahniuk. His name will be as commonplace as someone saying Stephen King in a Chapters bookstore.

I want people to stop watching television. Television is a bane to us all. I admit, I watch a lot of TV. But I want people to start watching television for a reason. Not to see who gets voted off Survivor or to see which of the eligible bachelors gets the boot by the attractive woman looking for a husband on national TV.

I want to wage a war. It's time we fight.

I want to fight a one on one battle with television. I want it to fall on its knees and beg for life. I want it to admit that it truly does rot the brains of the youth of the world and that we, the writer-folk, are the only entertainment left on the face of the Earth worth spending their time on.

With this document here, I officially stake my claim on the right to launch an attack. With this document, I'm making my views known and am willing to accept any partners in the ensuing fight. This is my word and this is my oath as a writer:

We, as writers, must reclaim our readers.
We must reach out and reinvest the time.
We must bring new life into a sagging market.
We need new blood.
We need to draw blood.
We need to once again believe in ourselves.
We need your eyes.
We need your thoughts and enjoyment.
You are our life.
We are your entertainment.
We will win the battle.

I want books to once again fly off the shelves. Books that aren't necessarily mass-market. Anything.

I want books to remain on bestseller lists longer than a movie is number one at the box office.

I want writers to once again hold some clout in the world. I want writers to be able to be recognized on the streets.

This is the beginning of the end of television. The writers shall return. Consider this an invitation to join the fight. Help make a one-man army a nation.

This is a revolution.

contrary to popular belief, adam wilson IS still alive and working with canadian content. he can be reached at

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