Write a Book that Authors the Change You Wish to See in the World

Not all writers start out as writers. Some of them begin as people who want to make a difference. Learn how to write a book that authors the change you wish to see in the world.
Publish date:

Learn how to write a book that authors the change you wish to see in the world.

Not all writers start out as writers. Some of them begin as people who want to make a difference.

Maybe, like them, you are an activist who regularly works to bring about the change you want to see in the world. Maybe you’ve marched for women’s rights, protested the Dakota Access Pipeline, or joined forces with others at airports after Trump put into place his travel ban. If you live in the U.S., maybe you have called or written to your congressman or senator to voice your opinion about an issue. If you live in Europe, you might have protested for or against the admittance of refugees to your country.

The history of the modern world is replete with instances of people instigating and inspiring change. Think Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi… Think right to vote, anti-segregation, and abortion… More recently, think #metoo and #takeaknee.

After all your efforts, you may wonder how best to make a difference. Protests, letters, phone calls, marches…they help, but they don’t always result in change.

It’s time to change your tactics—especially since you are a nonfiction writer. Put your words to use. Allow them to make a positive and meaningful difference. Author the change you want to see in the world.

That’s right. Become an Author of Change by writing a transformational or change-inspiring book.

 The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction

The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction

Books Have Power

Why should you “author change”? Simple. Books have incredible power to transform lives and inspire people to action. And a popular or successful book—one that speaks to the masses—gets read and shared. Such a book can inspire action.

That means your book can create change, and you can author change via your book. Those who read it begin to discuss and share about your cause. As more people read the book and engage with others about its message, more people join your movement.

That means change begins to happen.

I’m sure you know of a few books that have inspired change, like Walden, The Four Agreements, Silent Spring, and Eating Animals.

And today many writers see themselves as change agents. The online statement at OccupyWriters.com provides just one example. It says: “We, the undersigned writers and all who would join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world.” There you’ll find the names of such well-known writers as Margaret Atwood, Noam Chomsky, Eve Ensler, and Salman Rushdie.

Change Starts with You

A word of caution: If you want to change the world—or individual lives, communities or organizations, you need to change. First and foremost, you need to change into the type of writer who can inspire others. You have to become a leader…and inspirational one at that.

And you need to become the type of author who does what it takes—everything it takes—to help your book get in the hands of the most readers possible. That means you have to change into a good book marketer, speaker, leader, social media personality…and any other role that will help you book succeed.

Not only that, you must embody the change you want to see in the world. You must become a superb role model for the change you want to inspire.

Beyond that, you must understand how people change. With this knowledge, you can move people toward the change you want to create. You help them change.

Amplify Your Message

To create the change you wish to see in the world, you need to find people willing to join your cause. You want members of your movement.

Therefore, to author change, you must create an engaged community around your mission or message. These are the people who personally take on the changes or take the actions you suggest.

You can gather people around you and your cause—and your book—in person. You could create an organization, go out and speak, or use MeetUp.com, for example.

Or you can use the power of the Internet. Create a blog and publish posts often and consistently. Share those posts on social media sites. Start groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. Use the power of live video by offering webinars or Facebook Live events. Produce YouTube videos. You can even start a forum where your followers can gather.

Put your efforts toward creating an engaged and motivated community of change agents—those who want to be part of your movement. They also will purchase your book, give it to friends, review it, and talk about it online. They will change or take action to create change and motivate those they know to do the same.

That’s how movements start. That's how you ensure that you can, indeed, author change.

Write a Transformational Book

And then comes the book. To become an author of change, you must write a transformational or change-inspiring book. How do you do that?

You must have an inspiring and motivating message to share. Not only that, you want to provide your readers with specific ways in which to take action. And you have to share your message or mission in a way that makes them want to get on board.

That means your message must connect with your readers on an emotional level or you must share it in a manner that allows them to do so. And your mission—your Big Why—must be one they share or relate to.

The prescriptive information included in your book—the steps, strategies, or tools—must feel doable to your readers. They must understand how taking action will change their lives, their communities, their organizations, or the world.

Start Small

And don’t feel you have to change the world. You can start by changing individual lives. That’s what Eckart Tolle did with The Power of Now and A New Earth. Or you can change organizations, which is what John P. Kotter and Dan S. Cohen did with The Heart of Change. Stephen R. Covey accomplished the same with 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

But if changing the world is your mission, go for it! That’s what Al Gore wanted to do with An Inconvenient Truth and The Future. So did Naomi Kline with This Changes Everything.

The best way to write a book that inspires change is to read other books that have accomplished this goal. You can use the structure and tone of the books to model your own. Success leaves clues. This quote is attributed to Brad Thor but has been repeated by Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, and many others because it’s true.

The world always needs change on a variety of levels. Of course, change starts with you and then radiates outward. But you can make a positive and meaningful difference with your words. You can author change. Why not start today?

If you’d like to know if you are prepared to author change, take this short quiz and find out.

Perfect your writing and your business in these upcoming online courses:

Emily Henry: On Writing the Second Book

Emily Henry: On Writing the Second Book

Romance author Emily Henry describes the ups and downs of writing your second book, using her experiences writing her latest release, People We Meet on Vacation.

Stephen King quote

Who Really Owns a Story?

Jean Hanff Korelitz, author of The Plot, on artistic appropriation and adaptations.

Abate vs. Bait vs. Bate (Grammar Rules)

Abate vs. Bait vs. Bate (Grammar Rules)

Learn the differences of abate, bait, and bate on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Sarah Pinsker: On Reviving the Set-Aside Story

Sarah Pinsker: On Reviving the Set-Aside Story

Award-winning novelist Sarah Pinsker discusses how she picked up and put down a story over many years which would eventually become her latest release, We Are Satellites.

Mary Alice Monroe: On Writing the Family Saga

Mary Alice Monroe: On Writing the Family Saga

Award-winning author Mary Alice Monroe discusses what it's like to draft a series that spans generations and storylines.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Final Competition Deadline, Short Story Virtual Conference, and more!

This week, we’re excited to announce the Self-Published Book Awards deadline for 2021, details on the upcoming Short Story Virtual Conference, and more!

John B. Thompson | Book Wars

John B. Thompson: On Researching Changes in the Book Publishing Industry

John B. Thompson, author of the new book Book Wars, shares the research that went into his account of how the digital revolution changed publishing for readers and writers.

From Script

Supporting AAPI Storytellers and Tapping into Mythical World Building (From Script)

In this week’s round-up from ScriptMag.com, meet South-East-Asian-American filmmakers and screenwriters, plus interviews with screenwriter Emma Needell and comic book writer/artist Matt Kindt, TV medical advisor Dr. Oren Gottfried, and more!

What Is a Personal Essay in Writing?

What Is a Personal Essay in Writing?

In this post, we look at what a personal essay (also known as the narrative essay) is, including what makes it different from other types of fiction and nonfiction writing, examples of effective personal essays, and more.