So many writers begin their journey to publication out of a desire to create change on some level. Maybe they want to help people change with a how-to or self-help book. Maybe they want to create social or planetary change with a book that offers solutions to larger problems. Personally, they feel passionate about change, and that passion drives them to become writers and, ultimately authors.
Today I’ve asked agent Michael Larsen, author of How to Write a Book Proposal and How to Get a Literary Agent, and co-director of the San Francisco Writing for Change conference, to again provide a guest blog on the topic of writing for change. He provides some valuable tips on how to turn your passion into published books and ebooks.
Writing for Change: From Passion to Publication
By Michael Larsen
The world desperately needs solutions to the problems it faces. If you want to create any kind of change from the personal to the planetary, how can you go from passion to publication? Here’s how:
Feed Your Passion
Writing about change starts with a driving passion for helping people with their personal development or being a catalyst for change in your community or beyond. Your passion and belief in the need for change will enable you to meet whatever challenges you encounter.
Choose Your Goals
Using agents of change who have made a difference, such as Al Gore and Ralph Nader, as models will help you clarify what you want to accomplish and how to do it.
Find Out What You Need to Know
Learn enough about your subject so you can write about what the change is, why it’s needed, its effects, and how to bring it about. Events; organizations; experts on the subject; the communities of people you know online and off; and print, broadcast, and electronic media will help you acquire the knowledge you need.
Develop the Craft of Combining Vision, Passion, and Information
- Be active in social media that relate to your subject.
- Post to blogs on your subject.
- Start a blog of your own.
- Write articles, letters to the editor, and fan letters to authors and other authorities on your subject.
- Review books on your subject.
- Create videos and podcasts to help spread the word.
Using the Web will also enable you to test-market ideas as you build visibility, credibility, and communities of people to help you.
About the Author
Michael Larsen is a literary agent and consultant to nonfiction writers. He and his partner Elizabeth Pomada are co-directors of the San Francisco Writers Conference and the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference. He is the author of the third editions of How to Write a Book Proposal and How to Get a Literary Agent, and coauthor of the second edition of Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 Weapons for Selling Your Work.
The Third San Francisco Writing for Change Conference: Changing the World One Book at a Time / November 13-14, Hilton Financial/Chinatown / www.sfwritingforchange.org / Keynoters: Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior) and John Robbins (Diet for a New America)