Whether you’re writing scripts, blog posts, articles or books – you need to know how to write to make a difference. Even more importantly, you need to know what “making a difference” means to you.
Do you struggle to call yourself a writer? Read You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins. You’ll learn the importance of passion and discipline and how to show up every day to write. Goins teaches readers how to transition from wanting to be a writer to actually being one, and what “good” writing is. He describes what it takes to build a platform and why authors need to brand themselves. He also offers tips for freelancing, guest blogging, and getting published in magazines.
In this blog post, I share what I recently learned about writing to make a difference. I’ve made several changes in my writing style; I also changed what I write about. Why? Because I didn’t feel like I was writing to make a difference….and I’d lost my motivation to write. Here’s how I got my passion back! If you’re looking for more of a “how to write” article with practical tips, read A Writer’s Quest – How to Write Creatively.
How to Write to Make a Difference
The reason everyone says “content is king” is because kingly content makes a difference in people’s lives. Writing to make a difference isn’t just about attracting more blog traffic or selling article ideas to editors. It’s about finding your voice, sending a message of truth and light, and leaving a legacy.
You know you want to write differently. The trick is figuring out what “writing to make a difference” means to you.
Here’s what it means to me, and how I’ve changed my writing style and what I blog about.
I share stories about my life
Writing about personal experiences isn’t new for traditional bloggers (after all a “web log” or blog was literally an online diary or journal). But it’s brand new to me; I’ve always been a tips-based writer. I share practical “10 Tips on How to Write” articles that offer information…but don’t make much of a real difference to people.
That has changed! I now send out a weekly newsletter in which I share a little story from my life. I also publish that story on my main website – The Adventurous Writer. To me, this is how to write to make a difference: open up, share something you’re struggling with, and show readers they’re not alone.
I still offer practical tips
Is it enough to “just” share a personal story in your blog, book, or magazine articles? Not for me. I’m a very pragmatic woman and my writing reveals my personality. I love tips! So, for me part of learning how to write to make a difference involves sharing practical tips with readers.
That said, however, we can get practical tips and personal insights from fiction. Short stories, poems, books, and true-life magazine articles can be enlightening and informative, right? So if you write fiction, don’t start thinking you need to switch over to nonfiction in order to make a difference with your writing.
I don’t write fiction – but fiction does make a difference!
Remember that writing to make a difference involves escape and entertainment. I loved reading when I was a kid; to this day I would much, much rather read a book than watch TV or go to a movie. Books make a huge difference in my life, even though I don’t write fiction (yet).
If you want to write a novel or short story but you feel exhausted, read How to Increase Your Energy to Write. You need to find your flow. Increasing your energy will help you learn how to write to make a difference.
I address readers’ problems
My most commented-on blog posts are the ones about that tackle heartbreaking problems. Letting go of someone you love, dealing with guilt after your dog dies, writing an ending to an article or essay (ok, that’s not heartbreaking)…it took me a long time to learn that the more personal and difficult a problem is, the more important it is to write about it.
Another aspect of learning how to write to make a difference – for me – is addressing the problems of the actual readers who are commenting on my blog posts. I’ve been guilty of ignoring comments. Readers ask for help with problems I don’t know how to solve. I can’t give advice because I think it’s irresponsible to tell people what to do when you don’t know both sides of the story. Even then, I believe it’s a mistake to give advice.
I bless my readers
I share my thoughts on readers’ problems. I don’t give advice, but I do pray for and bless my readers. I ask God to give them insight and guidance, hope and healing, joy and peace.
For instance, if you were a reader who asked for help learning how to write to make a difference, this is what I might say:
May you find wisdom as you search for your niche, your voice, and your writing style. I pray for inspiration and divine guidance, for encouragement and hope for your writing. I also pray that you find what writing to make a difference means to you, and that you have the courage and discipline to follow your heart.
Are you standing in your own way? Read 4 Tips for Overcoming Perfectionism for Writers.
“Don’t let fear of writing poorly stop you from writing. That’s why we revise.” – Cindy Pon.
I welcome your thoughts on how to write to make a difference. How do you know you’re making a difference with your blog posts or articles? What motivates you to keep going?