1. Pray--Writing is important ministry. 2. Edit--Rewriting is often more important than writing!
* Make sure your content is well arranged and understandable. * Make sure your grammar and punctuation are correct.
"I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter." James A. Michener
"I rewrote the ending of 'Farewell to Arms' 39 times before I was satisfied."- Ernest Hemingway
3. Don't preach.
Sermons and Bible studies have their place, but they are not devotions.
4. Know your audience.
If you are writing for an interdenominational or non-denominational site, don\'t promote denominational or doctrinal differences.
5. Keep it short and sweet!
* People rarely read long articles on the internet. * 400 words or less is usually best.
6. Choose your Scripture reference carefully.
* If there are two good verses, but one is harder to understand, use the easiest. * Keep it simple so it will be readable and memorable--don't try to cross reference every verse that applies. Sometimes less is more!
7. Include a story--a personal or historic application.
This is what sets a devotion apart from a Bible study or article. A devotion applies God's principles to real life involving real people and real situations.
8. Make your introduction interesting.
* The best way to attract readers is with an interesting introduction. * This can't be stressed enough!
9. Get rid of extra words --"wordiness" weakens writing.
"Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts." --William Strunk, Jr.
10. Avoid passive voice. If you aren't sure what it is, look it up on the internet.
11. Be humble: say "we" not "you" (e.g. "We need to draw closer to God.")
A good devotion is "peer encouragement." You've learned something you want to share, but you are still a learner.
12. Make one point, not multiple points!
You can always write another devotion.
Gail has been married over 40 years to her best friend. She has two married children and seven grandchildren. She manages and edits WOW, Writing on the Word, a devotional site that accepts submissions. She also writes Bible Love Notes, which features one-minute (yes! 60 second) devotions for busy women.