Write From Your Soul

Saturday, July 28, 2007
The subject of today’s blog entry is the Christian genre. I’ve written for several Christian magazines and the experiences have been so rewarding. But a recent experience with a particular ezine made me realize there are certain things to keep in mind if one wants to write and be successful in this area. Let me share a couple of these with you.

First, you have to be able to write from the part of your soul most people don’t feel comfortable tapping into. You have to be honest, real and willing to make yourself vulnerable and a lot of people aren’t able to share that part of themselves with others. But it’s essential in Christian writing. If your work doesn’t stem from your soul, your readers will know. Christian writing is more than just placing “God” here and there; it’s speaking from your heart to inspire others.

Next, be sure you understand the particular publication you’re writing for. Some Christian magazines don’t have a specific Denomination they represent and welcome work from Christian writers of all faiths. Others are very specific and will only accept work from writers who can represent their specific denomination. For example, I had an ezine accept a piece from me. But this particular ezine had strict views on marriage and their writers had to support and demonstrate those views. After reading my bio, the editor had concerns about whether I could properly represent her publication.

You see, although I am in a long-term committed relationship and have children, I am not married and, therefore, don’t depict what they seek to in their magazine. Unfortunately, this meant I couldn’t be published with them. Now, this sounds harsh but they do have a right to filter through those writers who can’t be representative of what they want for their publication – all magazines do this. Bottom line: study the magazine you want to write for and be sure you can give them what they ask for.

Finally, when in doubt, listen to the experts. I always refer to Jerry B. Jenkins’ works because he’s one of the “top dogs” in Christian writing. His book “Writing For the Soul” is one I highly recommend for your writing library if you’re interested in this genre. Another great resource is the Christian Writers’ Guild website (http://www.christianwritersguild.com/). It’s chocked full of helpful and inspirational tips. They also have courses you can take if you’re interested in specializing in this field (I’m in the Journeyman course and enjoying it very much).

All in all, Christian writing is like any other genre: challenging but rewarding. But it can be very different from the regular way we write so research it carefully and choose what works for you.

Why not tap into your soul and see what flows out?

Happy writing.



Angela Mackintosh said...

What a great post Chynna. I've never tried writing for the Christian market because of what you said - I'd have to write from the soul, and really, I'm not all that religious. ;-) I think the last time I actually went to church was when I was twelve-years-old. And, I'm living 'in sin' as well... although my hubby and I said our vows to each other and have been together for over 10 years, we still don't have that piece of paper. I do consider myself spiritual, and do write from the soul in many instances, especially when I write our inspiration column... anyway, I admire you for writing reaching out to that market. Please let us know how it goes!



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