In America, Tom Paine's writings spurred the revolution for independence. Or closer to our own time; consider how the Nazis burnt books of which that they were scared. It's easy to see that books have power if they are being fought over because of the ideas they contain.
I recently had the good fortune to play the sole female character, 'Curley's Wife' in Steinbeck's classic Of Mice and Men at Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
Roger's story is full of the things I talk about. His personal story is about resilience, rebuilding your life, being positive and true to yourself. Through understanding his own heritage and discovering his identity he found the value of education.
We are surrounded by more distractions than ever today. Social networks offer endless opportunities to publish short thoughts without the effort involved in crafting the 200-pages of content you might need for a book.
Make sure you have something you want to say. And make sure that something excites you, that falls together at some point in the body of your writing and you feel a mini epiphany. If you don't feel it, why should anyone else?