Want to change the world? Write a story

Yesterday, I was talking with someone and I said that ‘If you want to change the world, write a story’.

This was in the context of autism advocacy and I used examples of Paws by Kate Foster among other books that show autistic characters living their lives, rather than showing them as being a burden to everyone around them. These stories are likely to gain more readers than some of the memoirs that are being published as so many people engage with fiction, and they are more likely to be set as books to study at school, turned into a movie or TV series… or at least I hope they are.

I know that I have learned a lot through reading fiction. Some of the books I’ve read this year have taught me things I wasn’t expecting. The Gift of Life by Josephine Moon taught me a bit about heart transplants, The Cult of Romance by Sarah Ayoub taught me about culture in the Australian Lebanese community as well as life in Lebanon, Billy Goat Boogie by Ella Shine taught me about some different dance styles, and these are just a few examples.

Through fiction, I have learned about disability, history, social issues, music, and so much more.

Many non-fiction books don’t have the same appeal to grip the reader and can be quite bland and academic.

I talk a lot about writing for the fun of it. Another thing with creative writing is that, as you can see above, is that you can change the world, one story at a time.

Through stories, you can engage people and let them know about whatever it is you them to know about.

When I wrote 3… 2… 1… Done!, I wanted to write a book to raise awareness about myalgic encephalomyelitis (also known as ME/CFS) in children, as well as writing a book for kids who have ME/CFS so they don’t feel so alone.

With My Princess Wears a Superhero Cape, I wanted to give the message to kids that they don’t have to choose. They can be a princess in a beautiful ball gown AND wear a superhero cape to defeat the dragon.

Both these books are my little ways to change the world. I got the feedback from a parent regarding the princess book that his daughter was so excited with the knowledge that she could be a princess and a superhero.

I know I’m not alone with writing stories to change the world. There are so many authors out there who are writing stories to change perceptions around neurodiversity, disability, environmental issues and more.

If you want to change the world, write a story. Stories are what can change hearts and minds.

If you don’t know where to get started, that’s where I can help.

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About Melissa

Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

Melissa Gijsbers, Author, Speaker & Booklover
Melissa Gijsbers - Author, Speaker & Booklover
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