“The pen is mightier than the sword.”
You may have heard the names J.K. Rowling, Malcolm Gladwell, Timothy Ferriss and Susan Cain before. All four are authors who have made a big impact on society through their books.
While they write about very different things, chances are that you, or someone you know, have read at least one of their books and been changed by it in some way. Does that concept appeal to you? Would you also like to make an outsize impact with your words?
Today I’d like to talk about how people like you can make a difference by writing a book worth sharing with the world.
Entertain To Teach
Making a difference in the world through writing isn’t only for non-fiction books and serious subjects (though it can be, too). Most people need a steady stream of enjoyable, entertaining stories in their lives. Don’t you?
Books of stories can function as a beautiful escape—weaving worlds for readers to derive pleasure from, like a favorite TV series might for its viewers—but stories can also serve as a model for readers to learn from and as a platform for an author to teach. Such storytelling is as old as human society itself, with its myths and tales of gods and heroes.
First, you might consider entertaining to teach by writing a book with a solid role model as your protagonist. Role models entertain and teach as much as they inspire and motivate people. Whether we’re talking about the story of a smart detective or a powerful warrior, role models in literature show people what’s possible in their own lives and both challenge and reinforce readers’ assumptions about themselves and the world.
What kind of role model would you like to write about?
Second, you might consider entertaining to teach in a way that challenges or warns society, and invites reflection. It doesn’t have to have a political facet, but it can. Look at the work of influential writers George Orwell (1984, Animal Farm), Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) and Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged). Decades later, their works are still read as much as for their gripping utopian-dystopian visions of society as for their literary content.
Do you also have a vision or a warning for society that you would like to share?
Have you ever read a book, watched a movie, listened to a song or heard about an idea that was so powerful that you couldn’t stop thinking about it, talking about it or taking some sort of action?
Intimately linked to creativity, inspiration is what happens when something takes hold of your imagination and influences you in some way. Examples might include trying a new hobby, wearing your hair a certain way, giving money to a charity or just thinking about something in a whole new way.
By writing a book, you too have the opportunity to inspire others and use your influence for good. It starts during the writing process, helping readers to identify with and empathize with your writing.
How? Try sharing your own story or sharing others’ stories that you know well. Either way, the key is to dig deep and help readers closely identify with the ideas, people, situations and events that you describe. Then give them additional reasons to empathize. As the book unfolds, readers will find that you’ve laid down the path to inspiration.
Authors Making A Difference
At Dudley Court Press we publish books by authors who have an important message to share. I’d like to introduce you to two of them.
Lee Albert is a Neuromuscular Therapist who has been helping people with chronic pain for over 25 years. He published Live Pain-Free: Eliminate Chronic Pain Without Drugs or Surgery, which led to the creation of a PBS Special on the topic, and Yoga for Pain Relief: A New Approach to an Ancient Practice.
Dr. Bonnie Lyon is an experienced counselor, speaker and author of the book Through the Tunnel: Unlock the Pain of Your Past and Find the Courage to Grow Up, Not Just Old. Dr. Lyon lost her sight in her 20s, but that didn’t stop her from creating a new vision of healing.
By giving readers the tools they need to successfully deal with their pain, both authors have made an incredible difference in many lives. All three books have exceeded initial sales projections as well.
Why not you too? Wouldn’t you like to make a difference in the world by writing a book worth sharing with the world?