“Whenever I find my writing getting sloppy, I write a devotional for The Upper Room and it tightens it right up,” book author and former editor (The Saturday Evening Post, Guideposts) Hal Hostetler once told me. He claimed that writing devotionals was the best discipline a writer could have. In general, the shorter the piece, the harder it is to write. And considering how much The Upper Room expects out of those 250 words, anyone who hopes to write for us will first have to master the techniques of excellent style.
But mastering—and continuing to exercise—great writing style isn’t the only reason to write devotionals. This practice also provides great spiritual discipline. After all, connecting God’s Word to the experiences of our lives is what Christians should be doing every day. So why not follow up by writing down this connection, adding a section to help the readers apply it in their own lives, and then submitting it be published?
This is why every Christian writer should be writing devotionals—either as a main focus or in addition to writing projects in other genres.
Then there’s always the second part of what Hal Hostetler told me that day about continuing to write for The Upper Room: “Who can resist the reach?” If the magazine that publishes your submission is The Upper Room, you’ll get to connect with millions of readers in 33 languages and over 100 countries worldwide.