As your primary text for all types and genres of writing, read the Bible cover to cover, including footnotes and articles in reputable study editions.
Read classical works by poets and writers with whom you identify.
Study and analyze Christian classics in your favorite genre. For instance, the Biblical Poetry page on the Poetry Of Course website discusses poetic techniques and forms that poets often used in writing Holy Scripture.
Write accurately about Christianity.
Get to know the unique aspects of a denomination before you speak for that part of the Body of Christ. Whether you need information from the Vatican, Southern Baptist Sunday School Board, Episcopal Church, United Methodist, Assembly of God, or other Christian denomination, you will find that most churches have an official website with foundational documents, mission statements, and tenets of faith.
Write accurately about everything. Research each topic thoroughly.
Observe people. Listen to people of all types, age groups and backgrounds.
Consider what draws readers to a particular poem, story, article, or book.
Study publications you like to read. Get familiar with church magazines, curriculum materials, "take-home papers," e-zines, books, journals, and also mainstream publications.
Consider gaps in publishing that your story, poem, article or book might fill.
Plan your work before you begin. Decide on a theme, purpose, and reading audience. Outline a nonfiction book. Write a synopsis of your novel.
Write, write, write!
Use English well. If grammar, syntax, spelling, or punctuation don’t come easily, get a dictionary, junior-high grammar book, or an editing software program. You’ll also find hotlinks to these types of Resources on the Poetry Of Course website.
Let your writing flow without criticizing yourself. Let your work rest. Later read those pages aloud as if someone else had written them.
Also read each revision aloud and really listen to you!
Identify any problems. When you see or sense a problem, you’ll most likely notice a workable solution too.
Revise, revise! Correct each mistake. Make every manuscript your best work before submitting it to an editor or Christian publishing house.
Most publishers have websites to let you know what they want. Study the information and carefully follow the company’s writing guidelines before you submit your manuscript or batch of poems.
If you don’t feel your work is quite ready for publication or if it keeps coming back, get professional feedback, preferably from a well-published Christian writer (yeah, like me :) for a minimal fee.
(c) 2010, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved.