The process I went through to create devotional books
I started following Julia Cameron’s advice in the year 2000. In her book, The Artist’s Way, she recommended that we write “Morning Pages” — three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing.
I particularly liked that we were instructed to write about anything and everything. It reminded me of the free-flowing poetry I wrote in high school.
I bought an 8.5″ x 11″ spiral-bound notebook. Nothing pretty. Each day, I captured the weather, the kids’ antics, and my health concerns. Anything that occupied top-of-mind thoughts. It didn’t take long to fill a 250-page notebook.
In 2001, I gave my heart to Jesus. My writing continued to begin with everyday stuff but then it moved into deeper concerns and finally, I’d be working out my faith on paper.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12 NIV).
Although I was raised in the Catholic religion, when I was born again I felt like a new believer seeing God and Jesus through new eyes. I wrote about my experiences, what I learned, and how this new faith applied to my life.
In 2003, I attended my first Christian writer’s conference through The Word Guild called God Uses Ink (now called Write!Canada). I learned about their writer’s contests and decided to gather my writings together into a small book. I submitted my devotional book called Voice of a New Christian — A collection of 52 devotionals to a writer’s contest. I didn’t win, however, the feedback I received was worth the cost of entry.
I made the suggested changes and renamed the book, Where Life Meets Faith — A Collection of 52 Devotional Writings. I hired ByDesign Media to edit, design the interior layout, and create a cover. I submitted this book to another writer’s contest and won Honourable Mention.
Encouraged by this award, I collected more of my writings into devotionals, Where Family Meets Faith and Where Fitness Meets Faith.
These books were small with less than 30 devotions in each. I used Amazon’s on-demand publishing program, CreateSpace (now called Kindle Direct Publishing), to upload and sell as Kindle e-books.
Years later, I wanted to offer all three books in a bundle but was unable to figure out how to make them available as separate books in a package deal on Amazon.
So I decided to merge the devotions into one new book called Meeting Faith — 100 Devotions for Women on Family, Fitness and Faith. I added three new devotions to round the total to 100.
I hired a graphic artist through Fiverr.com to create the new cover and again used the Kindle Direct Program (kdp) to upload to Amazon. I ordered a proof copy to review before I made it available to readers as a paperback.
I enjoyed putting these devotions together and breathing new life into them so much that I decided to do the same with four other smaller devotionals that I had written over the years.
I took an eclectic collection of books: Where Media Meets Faith, Think Snow, Night Stories, and My Journey to the Holy Land to create Leisure Time With God — Stories to Grow Your Faith.
I hired a graphic artist to create the cover, however, I was not happy with the final product. I worked on Canva to create flyers and memes for Instagram in the past so decided to try my hand at creating a book cover.
I made a few draft covers and then posted them on Facebook for feedback. I received great ideas from shortening the subtitle to changing the font style. When I finished creating this cover I knew we had a winner.
Currently, I am working on another collection of devotional writings. These have all been written over the past few years. Originally I wanted to call the book, Voice of a Christian but I changed my mind and settled on Still Learning — Reflections From the Life of a Believer.
I’ve written 48 devotions to date and want to have at least 100 before I publish. I will likely work on creating my own book cover given my love of the last one I made.
It may not be until 2023 that I release this new book. Until then, I’ll keep writing my three Morning Pages.