Writing to Change the World: Book Review

Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher is an inspiring guide for transforming the world with words. The book is well worth the read, features rousing commentary, personal anecdotes, great quotes, suggestions, and stories about people who have managed to change the world. I cannot say I have ever really enjoyed reading a book about writing as much as this one, although the only other one I can remember reading was about how to get your dissertation written, which I also really appreciated.

As medical bloggers, all of us believe we have something important to share with the world, although most of us probably do not start our daily posts with thoughts that our writing will save a life, bring justice to the world, or start or end a war. However, we are writers, and this book has some great tips about how to find our "voices," engage with readers, focus our passion into productive prose, avoid making assumptions about our readers, use empathy, use words to bring about social and political change, and tell a damn good story.

At no point does Ms. Pipher suggest it, but many of the suggestions she provides for writing to change the world are great advice for successfully interacting with the teens in our lives. I am sure that this is probably a byproduct of her years as a mom and therapist, and a great gift for all of us who occasionally stand shaking our heads after what we thought was going to be a positive interaction with our teen goes south and ends with a closed door.

I admit I love Mary Pipher and her books Reviving Ophelia, Another Country, and The Shelter of Each Other are some of my favorite books. I actually bought this book as a gift for my daughter's birthday, but to date, I am the only one who has read it. I believe writers can change the world and feel inspired now to make the most of the writing I do, and will consider writing more in the future - a goal I may owe to Ms. Pipher.

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