Book Review: Writing For Impact by Bill Birchard

If you are a budding writer or a professional writer, this book is for you. 

Before I share the reasons why, let me tell you about the author, Bill Birchard, first. 

When you visit his website, the third line you’ll see is this…


Apparently, this is his life mission as he works as a writing coach and a book consultant of leaders from various fields such as economics, the environment, business, health, and technology. 

True to his passion, he wrote Writing for Impact to help writers improve their writing more using science-backed principles.

He also has written other books including Merchants of Virtue (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011), Stairway to Earth (Birchard Books, 2011), Nature's Keepers (Jossey-Bass, 2005), The One-Minute Meditator (with David Nichol M.D., Perseus, 2001), and Counting What Counts (with Marc Epstein, Perseus, 1999). 


Writing is not easy.

It’s not just about stringing words together to create an email, a report, a presentation, or an article. 

It’s more than that. 

If you look closely,  you can see that with writing, you connect with your readers emotionally and neurologically.


So, if you fail to press the right buttons in their brain centers, what you write can be nothing. 

Articles get rejected…

Reports are misconstrued… 

Books are DNFed... 

Consequently, when your readers don’t understand your message, frustration spreads all throughout your body.

Hours spent on writing goes down the drain.

Impostor syndrome occupies your mind, telling you you don’t have what it takes to become an influential writer. 

But here's a silver lining…

You can change the situation on its head by learning from your mistakes, fixing them, and growing as a writer. 

The process is tedious but rewarding. 

Now, this is where Bill Birchard’s book, Writing for Impact, comes in.

It has science-backed writing strategies that can help turn your mediocre piece into an effective, influential one. 

Here are the things that you are going to learn from this book…

  • Learn how to use the right words to make your writing more engaging and persuasive. 

  • Discover eight proven techniques that you can start using right away, backed by scientific research. 

  • Find compelling examples of each technique. 

  • Learn dozens of tricks to captivate readers using each technique, backed by scientific insights into how the brain understands language.

  • Follow a structured plan to develop your writing skills.


  1. What is the purpose of writing? 

  2. What is the central principle of great writing?

  3. How is human motivation related to writing?

  4. What are the eight strategies of writing? Explain each. 

  5. How would you apply these strategies to your writing? 



  • Reading the book was a breeze. The format of how the ideas are presented is easy to follow and the explanation of the concepts and principles is clear as crystal. There are a lot of research studies included in the book, which for me can be daunting, but the author was able to break them down into simpler chunks with many illustrations. The fascinating connection between the brain and writing kept me turning the pages. 

  • The tips are completely memorable.The specific steps in making my writing have more pizazz are straightforward and relevant. The punchy names of the techniques added more uniqueness to them. 


  • I see myself using this book as a reference for writing. The advice in the last part of every chapter is gold. I just wish there's a checklist that contains  all of these tips. It would be easier to refer to the principles delineated in the book that I could refer to whenever I am writing.


Writing is one of the common forms of communication that is crucial for a society to have in order for it to survive and thrive. In addition to verbal and nonverbal communication, people get to understand each other more by sending and receiving written information. 

However, putting symbols or letters together to create words, sentences and paragraphs is not enough as the clarity of their meaning must be ensured to make them effective in conveying ideas. This is where the principles of writing come in.  They provide structure and direction by which ideas take form. They are like river banks that define the course of the river to a specific destination. 

In writing, the destination is clarity and substance, and Bill Birchard compiled  science-backed writing principles and techniques in his book Writing for Impact to help writers achieve this goal. True to its objectives, the book is easy to read and understand, the science behind writing is well explained, and the writing tips are practical and relevant. It's no wonder why some people who read it would have it handy as a reference guide while they are writing. 

Writing for Impact is packed with research studies about writing and its relation to brain science that could change a writer's perspective on how to deliver their message to the readers effectively. In fact, writing is pushing the right buttons in the brain so the reader would connect with the words, feel the target emotions, and take the desired actions. Failing to do so increases the chances of the writing being tossed in the trash can. Of course, that is not the goal of the writer. 

To make writing more successful, the author also presented easy, practical tips. For instance, to help readers become more satisfied with reading content easily and efficiently, use simple words. Difficult words can hamper understanding as they make the brain work harder. The brain prefers the least amount of effort in getting the meaning of a text. Other helpful tips like this include making writing more relatable, more influential, and more satisfying. 

If you are a beginner or advanced writer, Writing for Impact is a great book to have. You'll get to understand the brain science that helps you shape your writing in a way that connects more with your readers, influencing them to be inspired and take action. Moreover, the science-backed tips are worth taking into consideration. They are practical, relevant, and easy to follow. 

Thank you Bill Birchard, HarperCollins Leadership, and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader's Copy and the opportunity to share my honest opinion about the book. 


Bill Birchard’s Website   


Book Information:

Writing for Impact by Bill Birchard

Published on April 4, 2023, by HarperCollins Leadership 

256 pages (eBook)

Find it here: