© 2015 Jo Huddleston
Writing devotionals will give you opportunities to point your readers toward God without a sermon. Devotionals that impact your readers are ones you write from your heart, not your head. Devotional writing must be sincere and honest. Readers can spot a phony.
You might write about something that happened twenty years ago but remember to make it relate to your readers’ lives today. If you don’t, they may wonder “So what?” Instead, the desired reaction from your readers is, “I’m glad I read that; at last, someone understands.”
In a 300-word piece submitted to Decision magazine, I wrote about my granddaughter’s dilemma while she stood at the top of her new slide. She was unable to slide down because the metal was too hot, but she lacked the necessary coordination to climb back down the steps. Her escape route was a flying leap into my arms, never doubting that I would catch her.
Although I linked my granddaughter’s faith that I would catch her to biblical faith in God (Isaiah 26:4), Decisionrejected the manuscript. They did, however, invite me to submit a rewrite if I could tie my granddaughter’s problem and its resolution to something specific in my own life of faith.
In the rewrite, my original piece increased to 600 words. I added how my behavior had resembled that of my granddaughter on an earlier occasion when her mother had been gravely ill. I wrote how I had also trusted God to catch me in my seemingly hopeless situation. Decisionpublished “Catch Me!” as a vignette.
You have your own unique experiences to tell—no one can write about them but you. You’ve already worked through things that others are trying to get through. Listen to your heart’s message and connect with your readers’ emotions. Write your story well, and it will touch your readers and help them deal with life’s situations, with God’s help.
—Adapted from How to Write for the Christian Marketplace by Jo Huddleston and Vickie Phelps
Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. After writing three traditionally published nonfiction books, Jo turned to fiction and completed the Caney Creek Series, a trilogy of inspirational Southern historical romances. She’s an online contributor to Christian Devotions Ministries. Jo has written devotions on assignment and freelance for the following daily devotionals: Devotions, Open Windows, Pathways to God, The Quiet Hour, The Secret Place, and The Upper Room.