“Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have ‘essential’ and ‘long overdue’ meetings on those days. […] Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance.”
― J.K. Rowling

5 Ways to Change the World with Your Writing

This guest post is by Meghan Tschanz. Meghan is a writer, finishing up her first book about the women around the world who changed her life, and an advocate of social justice, changing the world with her writing. Click here to download her free report, 11 Things Wikipedia Won’t Tell You About the Sex Trade. You can follow her on her blog, Painted Orange, and on Facebook.

Why are we here? I mean, have you really ever thought about it? Not in a passing way, like what you are going to get at the grocery store tonight, but in a deep, earth-shattering way?

I have been thinking about this question for a long time. I have this feeling that we aren’t hapless creations put on the earth to eat, talk, and die. I feel like we were put here for a purpose, to make it better. We are here to change the world.

5 Ways to Change the World with Your Writing

We Want to Change the World

Most people can agree with this is one way or another. We try to be good people and want to contribute something to this earth that goes far beyond us; something that lasts longer than the amount of breaths we take.

I think you get it, and that is why you’re here at The Write Practice. You want to leave something that adds value to the world, something that lasts.

The Struggle to Create Something of Value

But you’re struggling because sometimes it feels like the world doesn’t want what you have to offer. You feel like no one cares what you write, so what’s the point?

I get it, I’ve been there. I have been frustrated by people’s apathy and my own inability to communicate the importance of something that matters to me.

But what I have also learned, with resounding hope, is that my writing does make a difference.

Your Writing Does Change the World

Every once in a while, in between the blog posts with no comments or shares, I get an email from one of my readers telling me that I inspired them; that because of something I had written they did something bold, adventurous, and good.

I’ve had readers get involved in the fight against sex-trafficking, readers reconcile lost relationships. Shoot, I’ve even had readers pack up their bags and move to foreign countries to help the poor.

All because I wrote.

When I was a little girl I thought I could change the world with my writing. Now that I am a woman I know that I can. (Share that on Twitter?)

And I believe you can, too.

How to Change the World With Your Writing

Here are five tips I’ve found inspire the most world change:

1. Write about what matters.

The world has enough gossip, enough chatter about temporary things. Does it really matter what Kim Kardashian wore (or didn’t wear) yesterday? How is that contributing to society as a whole? What does it show us that we value as a culture?

It is time that we start reading and writing things that matter. Let’s fill our time and thoughts with things that make the world a better place.

2. Write with passion.

Not everything is going to get your blood pumping, not every cause is one that you need to champion. Ask yourself what cause you are really passionate about.

Is it the plight of the orphan or the widow?

Is it global warming?

Find out what you really care about and write with conviction. When you do, people can tell, and they may just get on board with your cause.

3. Speak the language of your readers.

I may be really passionate about seeing the sex-trade come to an end, but if I use terms that no one understands, or if I write with anger, nobody is going to want to get behind the cause. Sometimes I am tempted to deliver a few choice words to those who purchase sex, informing them of what exactly their purchase is doing.

But you can’t change hearts with hate, only love can do that. I’ve found that my most powerful blogs identify with both the victim and the perpetrator. If we really want to see change, we have to persuade people to open their minds. We must be gentle and firm and the same time.

Be sure to say things in a way that people need to hear them, not necessarily in the way that you want to say them.

4. Make Your Choices Count

I have this theory, that everyone, everywhere is constantly changing the world.

With what you say and how you say it, with what you do and how you do it. You are changing the world as we speak, are you making it better or worse?

5. Give Actionable steps.

Encourage your reader with actionable steps. Now that you have them fired up about the cause you’re passionate about, they’re left asking, Now what? What do I do with my new found passion?

This is where you give your reader actionable steps.

Tell them to research the cause themselves and provide them with links to get them started. Show them ways they can get involved by traveling to certain region or donating to a cause. Give examples of how you inspired change. Tell heartfelt stories of how your passion has affected the world for the better.

If you did it they can too!

What are you passionate about? How are you going to change the world with your writing? Let us know in the comments section below.

PRACTICE

Think about something that recently moved you to emotion. Write about what made you feel that way. Why does this subject matter? How does it make you feel? Write with passion about things that matter while speaking your audience’s language. Remind them that they have the power to change the world.

Write for fifteen minutes. When you’re finished, post your practice in the comments section. And if you post, be sure to give feedback to your fellow writers.

About Guest Blogger

This article is by a guest blogger. Would you like to write for The Write Practice? Check out our guest post guidelines.

  • Kellie McGann

    I love this Meghan!
    I’m passionate about the middle east and believe that peace is possible there. I hope my writing can change perspectives and break stereotypes.

    Thank you for your inspiring words!

    • Thanks Kellie! I encourage you to go out there and change the world!

  • I loved this post! I have a blog at http://www.anewdayvegan.com and whenever I post something that I feel is painfully intimate to me, I get the most number of responses. I think others can feel your passion come through your writing as long as you’re willing to put yourself out there.

    • Christine! I found that too, as Donald Miller says it is “giving your audience the knife to stab you” and finding that they actually embrace you.

      Thanks Christine!

  • Barbara Latta

    I can identify with the comment about how news worthy is knowing what the Kardashians are wearing?I could care less. Item number 3 resonates with me also because I do want to tell those perpetrators what I think of their behavior but I know they need help too. I have a page on my blog dedicated to fighing human trafficking, http://www.barbaralatta.blogpost.com.

    • Thanks for sharing Barbara! We can only change things with great love!

  • Gary G Little

    I would encourage the Blogger to save this article and read it in 50 years, or after they’ve turned 65. I guarantee, above all else, that things will have changed. Some for the good, some for the better. How we think they should change? Probably not.

    I’m 68 and retired. My passion died a few years ago with prostate cance and hormone therapy. I now look at every day on this side of the daisys as a plus. I take keyboard in hand and write because I enjoy it. I write because before I started writing I found I had memorized the dialogue for “Hardcore Pawn”. Writing gives me something to look forward to, and something I enjoy doing. I monitor the current TWP contest and look forward to the critiques and comments I get.

    Are you, or anyone, inspired by my what I write? Really, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

    • Well I think it is inspiring that you found something you enjoy after all that has happened. It appears to me that you still have passion, and that is for writing. So keep writing Gary!

      • Gary G Little

        Ugh … to much sugar and coffee in the morning can make for a grumpy old man.

    • Kellie McGann

      Gary, what was your passion previously?

      • Gary G Little

        Again, the curmudgeon speaks.

        Why do I have to have ever had a “passion”? Siri, please define passion: 1. a strong and barely controllable emotion. 2. the suffering and death of Jesus. Let’s element #2 and deal only with #1.

        So I ask, why must I have a “passion”? I’ve always prided my self on being in control. I’ve skydived and flown airplanes. Trust me, you want to be totally in control doing either one of those activities. Being “barely controlled” to me has been anathema all of my life. Have I made mistakes? Have I done things I’m not proud of? Yes to both. I’ve learned there are three types of people when it comes to mistakes and poor judgement; those that have, those that lie about it, and politicians.

        I love writing software, but am I passionate about it? No. Some of the absolute worse code I’ve ever had the misfortune of inheriting and had to support, was written by “passionate” assholes who thought their shit didn’t stink.

        I better shut-up now. No caffeine but I could be on a sugar high. My apologies for any offense my curmudgeonly self may have engendered.

        • Sorry we asked about your passions. I figured that after the Cancer procedure, that dipping the banana would have had you reminiscing about your sex life. That in itself would have been inappropriate enough but at least there would have been a better segue to your original comments. I don’t know how chemo would alter your passion of Christ though, unless you blame Him for your blight.

  • Katina Vaselopulos

    Wonderful post, Meghan!

    I am passionate about the Greek culture and its wisdom but also fascinated with the similarities found even in the most diverse. I am passionate about nature, healthy living, and meaningful connections–with my self and others; about missions and visions based on eternal values that bring meaningfulness to individual lives but also change the world to a better place, by taking responsibility for the environment but also by trying to inspire others to grow spiritually and consciously enough to make their own contributions.

    I love learning from others and hoping that the lesson I have learned and share about overcoming hurdles, leaning from nature, and growing connected to the universal source will inspire others to do the same.

    In my book I share moments, memories, and ideas that matter and lead to personal and global changes, for a better world, as you point above. I even have “actionable” suggestions, vacillating between names right now, with “actionable” being one of them. I am praying that my words will find those that need the inspiration to make a difference.

    Blessings of abundant love, joy, and inspiration!
    Katina Vaselopulos

    • That’s beautiful Katina! I am sure you have no idea how much your writing has impacted others! Keep writing!

      • Katina Vaselopulos

        Thank you Meghan! My book is not published yet. Working on edits though I find that job difficult. i like writing much more than editing. You inspired me to go on! i am grateful!

        Katina

    • Duncan Milne

      Excellent stuff! Greek culture is something that I’ve only been exposed to recently. Must say, the people are magnificent, regardless of where you find them in the world.

      Good luck with your book. I’d love to hear more about it.

  • EndlessExposition

    This is a song I wrote a little while ago in memory of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender girl who committed suicide on December 28th, 2014. Her suicide note was removed from the internet, and while screenshotted copies still exist, I wanted to give her back her voice in whatever small way I could.

    She puts on a dress for the mirror –
    White with black ribbon –
    And she smiles at herself.
    She dreams of a wedding
    Somewhere far from here.
    Then she folds it all up,
    Puts it back on the shelf.
    Fridays are lonely
    And Sundays are hell.
    She has no more tears left to cry.
    She walks out one morning, her back to the town.
    She needed to run, and now she can fly.

    She wanted to leave her mark.
    I swear that I’ll never forget.
    I’ll sing your name to the sun and the stars
    Till they shine our way home from this mess.
    This is for Leelah.
    Leelah, Leelah.
    Sha la la la la

    It’s funny how once you are gone
    Everyone listens.
    It’s a bit late for that.
    They were all so wrapped up
    With fire and brimstone
    They shut down their hearts
    And sat on their hands.
    How did we learn
    To hate in God’s name?
    And to throw all our pain at the world?
    If He’s really up there He’s holding His head,
    Weeping downpours for His little girl.

    She wanted to leave her mark.
    I swear that I’ll never forget.
    I’ll sing your name to the sun and the stars
    Till they shine our way home from this mess.
    This is for Leelah.
    Leelah, Leelah.
    Sha la la la la

    And I know now the whole world has said this:
    But I wish I had met you.
    I wish I had known.
    I don’t know for sure it all wasn’t in vain.
    But I’ll do what I can
    To help things along.
    So if you’re looking down
    Just know you are loved.
    Your memory won’t die.
    Your words aren’t gone.

    She wanted to leave her mark.
    I swear that I’ll never forget.
    I’ll sing your name to the sun and the stars
    Till they shine our way home from this mess.
    This is for Leelah.
    Leelah, Leelah.
    Sha la la la la
    Leelah, Leelah.
    Sha la la la la
    Leelah, Leelah.
    This is for Leelah.

    • wow that is beautiful! thanks for sharing!

    • Susan W A

      Remarkable .

      Profoundly supportive, able to open eyes and hearts, loving.

      Beautifully written … With passion for Leelah and all who share her experience.

  • Duncan Milne

    Professional Services

    Shortly after moving to Australia, I met a guy who
    acknowledged that he frequented prostitutes. As strange as this seemed to me, not
    only is prostitution legal in Australia, there are numerous brothels in town,
    many of which advertise in the mainstream media.

    I asked him, “why?” After all he seemed as though
    he would have other options; he was employed and seemingly stark contrast to my
    prejudices of the men who preyed upon the criminalized sex trade in Canada.

    The answer was simple and clear, “look mate, I’m a busy
    bloke. I fly in to camp and then only have a few days in town and can’t waste
    time with amateurs.”

    Fair enough, I supposed, still not my cup of tea, but the
    logic seemed reasonable. The discussion also served as a reminder to give pause
    and avoid the illicit charms that ethnocentrism offers. After all Australia
    isn’t Canada and prostitution, whatever my views of the profession, is a legal,
    regulated industry engaged in by consenting adults, at least in the form is was
    being discussed in.

    That was three years ago, recently there has been occasion
    to chat again about his decisions to “retain an expert” but this time the
    circumstances were different, as was his choice.

    “Mate, I don’t need a lawyer. I’m going to plead guilty and
    hope the judge doesn’t impose a jail sentence.”

    So, the same friend who didn’t have enough time to waste on
    anything but professional sex, was now willing to rely upon a novice, probably
    a virgin, in a courtroom with his liberty in the balance.

    “All my mates say I’m wasting my money.”

    Choices I suppose we all make; what’s the best value for
    money; value for time. Ultimately value is about perception and how we view our
    world.

    Although I concede lawyers are expensive, I can’t echo his
    friends comments that representing yourself in court, especially facing
    incarceration, is prudent.

    Having been a lawyer I used to do clinic work at drop in
    centers and homeless shelters. Most of the work that we did was guilty pleas
    and sentencing. Assisting vulnerable people without the means to retain counsel
    and sometimes who lacked the understanding of their offenses.

    Unlike people’s perception, at least in Canada, the role of
    the defense lawyer isn’t to prevent a conviction, but rather to ensure the
    accused is provide with proper representation and their rights are protected.
    Sometimes guilty is just guilty and there’s nothing to be done. This is what my
    buddy’s is facing today.

    What does change though it that you have a professional that
    understand their job. Understands formulating a cogent argument and will find
    the compelling reasons for leniency. Hoping for the best isn’t justice for the
    guilty any more than it is for the innocent. I don’t know what the answer is,
    but I know that self-represented parties harm themselves and the judicial
    system that our societies are founded upon.

    The Western legal system only works when everyone has access
    to justice. You’re free to decide which professionals to engage when, but if
    you choose unwisely you may find that liberty disappear.

    Its times like this that I worry about the health of our
    justice systems.

    • Thanks for sharing! Very fascinating.

    • You make very valid points in your article. I agreei what you say about the importance of everyone having access to justice. it’s sad that your friend chose to defend himself, instead of chosing to have an attorney, even if one could have been appointed to him free of charge. Everyone deserves fair representation in court, regardless of guilt or innocence. it’s important for every individual be not only be informed about their legal rights, but to realize just how important it is to have legal representation in court. it’s really sad when not everyone has access to justice.

  • Learning From The Past
    By Kiki Stamatiou a. k. a. Joanna Maharis

    I recently watched a rerun on television of the show Too Close For Comfort. In this particular episode, Lisa, the nanny to Mr. and Mrs. Rush’s son Andy, was going to night school to learn English. As it turned out, the teacher was a scum who hit on the girl.

    When Lisa finally got the courage to confide this information to Mr. and Mrs. Rush, they embraced her. Mr. Rush told her that he’d take care of it and put a stop to the teacher harassing the girl. He told her wouldn’t feel any different if it had happened to his own daughters. To the Rush’s, Lisa was like a daughter. It moved me to tears. I was so overcome with emotion as the tears flowed down my face. This was the most beautiful of all the episodes. I was touched by how even though the girl was no relation to Mr. and Mrs. Rush, they treated the girl like family.

    I’m amazed at how true this is, regarding the notion about how strangers become so close like family, and sometimes better family to a person than their actual relatives.

    The notion of people caring so much for someone, it doesn’t matter if a person isn’t blood related. They can be total strangers who become like a part of each other’s family.

    It’s about showing compassion to one’s fellow human beings.

    If the world operated this way, perhaps there would be no more wars. Therefore, hatred would be ended I the world. Parents would teach their children to love all people regardless of who they are and where they come from.

    It’s a shame to think there is violence going on in certain parts of the nation and in certain parts of the world. All most people are able to do is stand by and let the violence continue in various parts of the world.

    Governments try to solve the problems of violence in the world through force, more violence and more bloodshed. It becomes a never ending cyc le of war.

    Instead of contributing to the violence in the world, the governments in every nation need to do more to bring about peace in the world through showing compassion to the enemy.

    It also starts in the home. The way a person is raised comprises his personality and behavior for when he becomes an adult. If violence is all an individual or group of individuals have known in life, they sometimes inflict such violence and pain on others as a form of regression. That’s not right. Changes must be made.

    I myself grew up in a household of violence. I’ve always strove from a very early age to
    learn from my parents mistakes and from the mistakes of others, so I may become a better person than they were or still are. It’s vital for every individual to take it upon themselves to learn not only from their own mistakes, but from the mistakes of their parents and from the mistakes of others, to be sure they themselves don’t repeat the mistakes others have made. It’s the only way to make a better world for future generations. It’s the only way to fully bring about world peace, as well as peace within oneself.

    © Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015

  • Lori Robinson

    Since I was a little girl I told my parents I wanted to live in Africa. I fantasized about being Tarzan’s girlfriend (or wife). I love animals and nature, wildlife and wild places. It’s that passion for wildness that inspired me to create SavingWild.com and to write about wildlife and wild places.

    I love your post today and so relate to those once in awhile comments from readers who say that you are making a difference to their lives. Priceless.

    Thanks.

  • Karley

    Per usual, the sunshine was quick to remind her of the silver lining she was so quick to take for granted. Though it really proved to be more golden in tint, its presence on her
    account went any which way except unnoticed; and she was no stranger to the
    difference in value between gold and silver. Her family was well-off, always
    had been, but she herself was anything but good with money. She didn’t care much
    to burden her wallet with frugality. This opinion was the wrong one to have by her
    mother’s (and society’s) standards, but she didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to their
    instructional disquiets, either. She viewed money much in the same way she perceived
    time; they were both limited, one more so than the other, but they were also
    dispensable. What good was saving up millions of dollars to buy one breakable, replaceable, obtainable, exchangeable, object if you had to pass up a billion irreplaceable ones along the merry-saving way?
    Equal in regards to worthlessness were her mother’s attentive eyes- which were blue in color and blind to quality of anything that had the displeasure of meeting their
    reproachful acquaintance-to her vain philosophy on spending as a means of
    appearing wealthier. Her eyes did everything except see, her brain did every
    calculation besides the logical one, and I wasn’t so sure her heart was in
    working order, either. For a woman who spent everything she had to seem like
    she had it all together, she truly was quite broken. Separated from her one
    true desire by her own artificial aspirations, I suppose she rather resented
    herself for it. Unhappiness knows no greater a companion than self-loathing;
    unless of course, both comrades are shielded by the obliviousness of their own
    close-knit friendship. That is just a recipe for misery. Nevertheless, there
    she went; a bloodhound on the hunt, constantly seeking that non-existent sale
    on happiness: one she was willing to pay any price for, but could never afford.

  • I’d like to share this on my WordPress blog, which would then share it all over the net. Is there a way to do that when there is no WordPress link?
    Sherrie
    https://sherriemiranda1.wordpress.com
    A young American woman goes to war-torn El Salvador:tinyurl.com/klxbt4y