I’m often asked:
“I write devotionals and/or poetry. How do I go about getting my writing published?”
My initial reaction is a silent shrug : When you find out, let me know. My actual response, however, is much more encouraging (I hope), and usually involves…
These five suggestions:
- Keep writing! Write everyday.
- Write for the Lord–even if He’s your only audience.
- Hone your craft. Read writing-related resources. Attend writing conferences, or (if money is an issue) find the myriad of free online writing resources.
- Become a contributing member of an informed critique group. Make sure those with whom you’re sharing and gaining wisdom are growing in the writing craft.
- And finally, NETWORK–build that all-important PLATFORM. Social networking has changed the face of publishing. Every friend and follower on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc., etc., etc., builds a network of folks that can help spread the word when you write “remark-able” content on your social media.
As many of you know, I have an e-devotional ministry called, DEEP-O-TIONALS, sent out each Monday morning (you can CLICK HERE to subscribe). Those studies began as my personal quiet-time with Jesus, shared at first with family in friends during an extended illness in 1996.
When I sought publication in 2005, a friend helped me conceive the name, DEEP-O-TIONALS. One of the best agents in the business knocked on every royalty publisher’s door, but no one would contract it. Why? They’re an anomaly. Too long for a devotional, too short for a Bible study–and I’m a nobody…no formal training, no titles, no big TV minsitry.
For my paranoid friends…I know they say the moment we write something it’s copyrighted in our name, but I wasn’t convinced. I was sure that DEEP-O-TIONALS was such a great name that someone was gonna come along and pilfer the concept, so here’s what I did…are you paying attention…
Write your fabulous, original idea on a piece of paper. Put it in an envelope; seal it; and mail it to yourself. Don’t open the envelope when it arrives in your mailbox. Instead, tuck it away in a file marked “copyrighted materials.” If the question ever arises as to the date YOU conceived an idea, the postmark on a sealed envelope will prove the date of your revelation! Cool, eh? (I heard it from someone at a writer’s conference. See how handy those conferences are?)
The question remains:
“How do I get my writing published?’
The same way I get published–every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You keep writing–for free if necessary–keep networking, keep knocking on doors. If you’re called to write, you won’t be able to stop. And then one day, someone (by God’s grace) might offer to pay you for it. It’s a little surreal, believe me, but it doesn’t change the call.
- Which of the five suggestions seems most daunting? Why?
- Which suggestion have you tried with the most success?