Tuesday, 15 October 2019

T The Pro-Active Author

Three Reasons to Write Devotions

Recently at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference I spent some time speaking with Susan King, who for many years has been an editor at The Upper Room. If you don't know about this devotional publication (a bi-monthly), it reaches six million readers. Each devotion has a particular format and are less than 300 words. I have been published in The Upper Room but it was years ago. In the early days of my writing for publication, I often wrote devotionals. Susan told me they continue to need more devotions from men and in particular from the Old Testament (except Psalms). These pieces of advice are important so I write something that meets their publication needs. As a writer, you can go in many different directions so this focus was very helpful.

After speaking with Susan, I decided I would write some devotions and submit them for consideration. During the conference, I went to the freebie table and collected a sample magazine and their guidelines. Whenever you want to write for a magazine, studying their publication and guidelines is always the first step to getting published.

With a publication and writing target in sight, I began to think about writing some devotions. It is a different type of writing than I have done in a while. I decided to write several devotions for the same publication to increase my possibilities for getting published. 

Here's three reasons to write devotions:
1. Different can be good for your writing. Sometimes we get in a rut with our writing. Devotional writing is a connection to the spiritual and applying these lessons to your writing. For me, writing a devotional is different from writing a chapter in a book or a book proposal or other types of magazine writing. As a writer, you still get to practice your storytelling craft with devotionals.
2. Devotions are short. They are often 300 words or less. This type of writing can be a challenge to say something meaningful with only a few words. The Upper Room guidelines give insight into this area encouraging you to look at snapshots of life in the stories that you include.
3. Looking for devotions to write puts you in touch with the “God moments” in your life. It is easy for life to drift past if you aren't in touch with these spiritual moments in your life (at least it is for me). I began to consciously look for these moments and grew more aware of them in my life.

Bonus reason 4. Devotion writing is another way to serve others with your writing and also a way to gain your own exposure. If my devotion gets published in The Upper Room, I will reach millions of readers.

Do you write devotions? What are your reasons for writing them?


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Columnist: Terry Whalin

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W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former  magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com.

 

 

 

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