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You and We the People - Writing for Change

by Michael Larsen

One lazy man is called a disgrace, two lazy men are called a law firm, and three or more a congress.

John Adams in the musical 1776

Although America’s follies and problems approach in size and gravity its potential and stature, the United States is the best and greatest country the world has ever had. The signing of the Declaration of Independence is worthy of celebration, if only to remind us of how unlikely an enterprise America was at its birth, how remarkable its vision of America, and our role in keeping its ideals alive. On the morning of America’s birthday, I want to recommend a speech and a musical comedy for you to watch. One may change your mind, the other your life. The first is a talk by John Perkins, author of Hit Man: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded–an What We Need to Do to Remake Them. You can watch it at Perkins says that despite corporate bribes and paralyzing partisanship, we, as citizens, can determine America’s future. America is a centrist country, but politicians and the public usually hear more from zealots at the ends of the political spectrum, rather than the middle. Parkins asked his audience to do one thing every day to make the world better, an idea as powerful as it is simple. More than ever before, writers have the opportunity, not just to make a living, but to make a difference. It’s easier than ever for the right idea and the right book to change the world, and the Internet enables you reach the world with your fingertips. Perkins said that when Rachel Carson sat down at her small desk in her Pennsylvania home to write about how DDT was harming the planet, she had no idea that she would write The Silent Spring, a bestseller that became a classic that liberated the world from DDT and started the international environmental movement.

Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, or poetry...

Your passion and your gift for portraying the challenges we face, and proposing solutions, can make a difference. Knowing how big a difference you can make is impossible, but it’s much greater than you think. How about writing and signing your own declaration of independence from whatever is keeping you from becoming the best, most creative and productive person you were born to be and that only you can be? Free yourself from beliefs, people, and activities that waste your resources, but don’t help you achieve your goals. That will be something for you to celebrate every day.

A revolution won is a revolution lost.

When people believe there’s nothing more to fight for and just enjoy the fruits of victory, they begin to lose what was so costly to win. The only way to win a revolution is to keep striving to keep its ideals alive, especially at a time of political impasse, accelerating change, and the growing urgency of the problems we face. Our hyper-connected planet has only one economy and only one family: the human family. As Benjamin Franklin warned, we have to hang together, or we will hang separately. For America to work, we have to do what we must to keep the vision of the Declaration of Independence alive and perpetually strive to fulfill its dream of a free, independent, thriving country, united by the compromises needed to balance contrary beliefs. Every 4th of July, Elizabeth and I watch 1776, a Tony-winning  musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence that has important lessons we ignore at our peril. The show brings to life the remarkable but all-too-human men who made it possible.  The show captures how divided and ineffective Congress was at its birth, how one vote made the difference, and the disastrous compromise on slavery required to make America possible despite overwhelming odds. No matter where you are in your life or your writing career, remember Anne Frank’s words: “It’s never too late to start doing the right thing.” America’s only hope is to remain a revolution in progress that we keep alive with our efforts. Have a happy 5th.

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What passions drive you to write? What do you wish to share with the world? Please inspire us :)

About the Author

Michael Larsen-Elizabeth Pomada Literary Agents Helping Writers Launch Careers Since 1972 / Members: AAR Information about writing, publishing, agents, submitting your work, writing a proposal and promotion plan, and Michael's consulting services for nonfiction writers is at

Published by Judy Cullins

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  • Don Ford

    Every man should have his own goals in life. Work with others, yes, but also know his own heading. Agreement with the opposite party is okay, if I agree with their idea. Nothing at all wrong with independent thought. I’m no one’s rubber stamp or their whipping boy.

    I lean heavily in the direction of conservatism, but if the other fellow - my opponent on most issues, is right in my opinion, then he’s right. I don’t play follow the leader very well. But I do many times lead.

    Where eagles fly,
    Don (Greywolf) Ford

    Author of “Death & Taxes” at Amazon

  • Burt Berlowe


    I can really identify with this site and your ideas about writing for change and the revolution concept.

    I am an author and journalist in Minneapolis who specializes in writing and publishing the true stories of ordinary people (compassionate rebels) who are engaged in meaningful and compelling social change My current book, the second in an award-winning series, is titled The Compassionate Rebel Revolution: Ordinary People Changing the World. It features some 60 inspiring and hopeful real-life stories of everyday heroes -a small but powerful sampling of the millions of compassionate rebels around the globe who are making the world a better place. A compassionate rebel lives in everyone. Compassionate rebel stories are everywhere waiting to be shared and used to produce social change. This is the revolution you have written about and much more — the one that potentially includes all of us playing our part in transforming society from the bottom-up.
    I teach writing for social change and promote that idea everywhere I can. I would like to connect with others who are using their writing for that purpose.
    I am currently marketing my book and welcome any suggestions. I have printed out some of Judy’s suggestions and find them useful.
    Please check out my website at for more information about my book and contact me if you want to chat about writing stories that can change the world.

    Welcome to the Revolution!

    Burt Berlowe

  • Lawrence Goudge

    I am growing more and more alarmed at developments south of the border to which Canada is not immune- the latest being corporate internet spying. I just published a book, “Cover-Up, How the Church Silenced Jesus’s True Heirs” which show that Jesus and his followers’ mission was to create a just society on earth (Acts 2) and I belong to a church which believes (and acts) the same. Virtually every member struggles for justice in many causes.
    Thank you for posting this article by Michael Larsen.
    Lawrence Goudge.

  • Judy Cullins

    Don, thanks for stopping by. Looks like this piece resonated with you. We hope you’ll subscribe and get these gems in your email each week or two.

  • Judy Cullins

    Burt, Thanks for your kind words-you need to connect with MIke Larsen, the author. He’s offering a conference just right for cmpassionate rebels.
    see his bio and connect with him!

  • Judy Cullins

    Lawrence, Glad you got value here. MIke has some great offers for your kind of writing!

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