Are you stretching your writing muscles?

The following is a response I received from an editor after I submitted a devotion for a new book they are planning to publish:

Jeaninne, we really like your writing and would like to include you in this book, however, the guidelines talked about this project being a devotional filled with personal narratives, no sermons, no directions, nothing too abstract in dissecting the Bible, but an invite in your own life or someone close to you that would inspire others as a reflection of Jesus. With that being said, would you be open to rewriting this devotion?

I enjoy writing a certain way, and didn’t want to adapt my writing style to meet the needs of the publisher, so my initial response was to say no. But my writer mentor had these words to say, after I contacted her about my decision:

This is how it  goes with publishers. So if you want to go with them, you need to stretch yourself and meet the requirements. I do think it’s a good opportunity to gain new readers who may want to read your other devotions as well. It will also give you some practice in meeting solid deadlines and give you more exposure.

Is it my desire to add more credentials to my writing resume? Yes. Is it my desire to gain more exposure?  Yes. So rather than replying no, I heeded the advice of my mentor, stretched my writing muscles and resent my devotion, hoping that the pain of rewriting according to their guidelines would be worth the gain of publication.

Aspiring writer, sometimes you may have to step outside of your comfort zone on the road to writing for publication, but don’t be afraid to stretch those writing muscles, because the pain may be worth the gain!

Sharing the journey,



Writers prayer: Father, even though it may initially hurt, help me to stretch my writing muscles on the road to publication. Amen.

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