Hey everybody! First of all: I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in a few weeks! I was at sleepaway camp for a week and then spent the next week being tired from said summer camp (lol), and also had acting camp and went on vacation in Vail, Colorado. (I miss the mountians!!)
Anyways, excuses aside: As you can tell from the title, I have some SUPER EXCITING news for you guys! Yup, you read that title right: I’m starting a lifestyle blog!
I’ve wanted a lifestyle blog ever since I started American Girl World and discovered all of these incredible blogs where people posted about their life and ideas and hobbies and more. It’s taken two and a half years, but my dream of having a personal blog is finally come true!
My brand-new blog is called Diary of a Daydreamer, and it’s exactly that. An online diary where I share my ideas, stories, tips, tutorials, life, songs, and daydreams. At Diary of a Daydreamer, every Saturday you’ll find posts on Blogging, Dance, Fashion, Lifestyle, Music, and Writing. I’m insanely excited for everything that’s going to be happening on Diary of a Daydreamer and I can’t wait for everything that’s coming!
Of course, I couldn’t do this without my incredible launch team! Thank you so much, guys, for everything you’ve done to help make Diary of a Daydreamer possible. The six girls who are a part of the launch team and I are going to be posting some AWESOME content about Diary of a Daydreamer – so make sure to check the blog tour out!
But that’s not even the best part! To celebrate DD’s launch, we’re hosting an epic giveaway where you can win some awesome prizes! And, it’s completely virtual – you won’t have to give out your address!
Thank you so much for reading! This was just a short little post to let you guys know that I’m starting my new blog, but I hope you check it out, look around, and maybe even give it a follow! Don’t forget to follow the tour and enter the giveaway! Have an awesome day!
Are you excited for the new blog? Are you going to enter the giveaway? Do you like the name Diary of a Daydreamer? What do you think of the new blog?
Hey guys! A couple of weeks ago, I posted 5 Tools Every Christian Blogger Needs, which listed some great resources for Christian bloggers that hopefully helped make Christian blogging a little easier for you!
This post is also in the ‘for Christian bloggers’ category. Today, I’m going to be teaching you guys how to write a devotional! It really helps me to blog about what I’m working on or struggling with, and lately, I’ve been trying to give my devotionals a clear, concise style and a solid format and message, so in this post, I’m going to help you do that in your devotionals!
I hope this post helps you, and whether you’ve written hundreds of devotionals or are about to write your first one, you can learn something from these tips! So, let’s get started!
Step 1: Finding Inspiration
You can get inspiration for a devotional from anywhere! Just take a look around you – what are you thankful for? Is there something in the room that you’ve had an experience with? Do you see the birds chirping through the window and think about God’s creation? Do you notice a book that taught you a really great lesson about life or faith or showed you something new?
Whenever you get stuck, try thinking about your life right now. What are you struggling with or going through? Sometimes, I don’t always like talking about how to stand firm during a struggle I’m going through, since I’m still trying to figure that out for myself. Other times, writing about a struggle is like encouraging yourself and others who are going through the same thing.
Take a look at your daily life. Usually, my devotionals are inspired by conversations with my family or my friends, or maybe the topic of a sermon or lesson I learned in church. Think about your favorite parts of the day. What makes mornings so special for you? Is it because you get to relax in the silence while spending time with God? Or maybe you love evenings because that’s when you read your Bible plan? You can take those moments, conversations, and lessons, and use that as inspiration for your next devotional!
I also get a TON of ideas from my daily devotionals. Each of the topics in my daily devotionals always inspires something that I want to write about! It’s wrong to take the devotional and copy it word for word on your blog or write a post REALLY similar to it – that’s called plagiarism and it’s illegal. But, it’s always okay to use the devotional as inspiration! If the devotional was about God’s love, then you could take inspiration from that concept and write a post on that same topic in your own words and ideas.
I’m also really inspired by my The Message Bible because it helps me look at Bible verses in a totally different way! Since it’s worded very modernly, it’s easy to understand and grasp the concept of each verse. Once, by just flipping through it, I came up with four ideas for blog posts! I always quote the verse I was inspired by in the devotional, so that way my concepts and ideas are backed up by the Bible.
As you can see, there’s a TON of different ways that you can get inspiration! All it takes is flipping through a book of devotionals, looking around the room, or thinking back to a conversation. And once you’ve found inspiration for what you’re writing about, you’re ready for the next step!
Step 2: Creating an Outline
Everyone’s minds work differently – especially the minds of writers and bloggers. There’s a constant debate in the noveling world between plotters, those who keep their story on track using an outline, and ‘pantsers’, those who write by the ‘seat of their pants’ and discover their story as they go along.
Even if you may be a ‘pantser’, it’s really important that you write an outline beforehand. It helps keep you on track, and it will save you a ton of time editing in the end if you have the message of your devotional already identified and incorporated beforehand.
There are tons of different ways to write an outline. It’s going to take a little bit of experimenting to find one that works for you, and that’s okay! You want to find an outline that fits your style, personality, and writing and is most comfortable for you.
When I’m writing a typical blog post, like this one, my outline is way different from what I’m starting to use in my actual devotionals. Here’s how I outlined the first step of this post:
Step 1: Finding Inspiration
QUESTION: Where can you find inspiration and ideas for devotionals?
Since in this post I’m teaching you guys something, instead of a topic sentence, I had a question written down in my outline that I wanted to answer through those paragraphs. But, let’s say I’m doing a blog post on my experience at camp. Here’s what the outline for one of my paragraphs could look like: (This could probably be a post in the future!)
Section 3: How I Grew Closer To God
TOPIC SENTENCE: At camp, I grew closer to God in so many different ways.
Batter’s Box Devotionals
Team Meeting at the Sanctuary
But for devotionals, your outline is probably going to be a lot different from this. Before you start your devotional, even if you don’t really use an outline, make sure to answer these questions:
What is the main topic of your devotional? What is the message or theme?
What Bible verses and scripture can you use to back up your points?
How do you want your readers to feel after reading your devotional? Empowered? Loved? Empathetic? Generous? Encouraged? Happy? Comforted?
Once you have these questions, you’re ready to start either outlining or writing your devotional! If you don’t really like outlining and it’s not your style, you can always skip to Step Three! But for those who want to learn a little more about outlining devotionals, stick around!
After you’ve answered the questions, all that’s left is to map out where the main points of your devotional will go! For example, an outline for a devotional could look like this:
Update them with a little bit of what’s happening in your lifeIntroduce the topic
Thanks for reading
But, of course, just like every writer/blogger is different, your outline will be different from this too! Like I said before, it takes a lot of experimenting, changing, and playing around to find the outline that works for you. The outline that works could be detailed descriptions of every paragraph, a simple map like this one, just the main questions, or no outline at all! (Although, an outline is always recommended!)
Step 3: Write!
Now that you have inspiration, the main questions answered, and an outline of your devotional, it’s finally time to actually write the devotional! Use your outline as a map of your devotional to help keep you on track. Don’t let your outline restrict your creativity – use it as a guide to help you create the best devotional possible!
Make sure to incorporate Bible verses along the way that clearly state your point and back up your message. Don’t forget to cite where you found the verse in the Bible (e.g. John 3:16) and the translation you’re quoting (e.g. MSG). Bible verses are an awesome way to connect the Bible to your devotional!
Make sure to use clear, easy-to-read sentences in your devotional. You don’t need to jazz it up with melodramatic metaphors or big words – I admit, I’m guilty of doing that in the past, haha. 😉 But, I’ve learned that simply stating the powerful message of your devotional has greater impact. Take a look at this: which paragraph is easier to understand?
Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, the Holy One, the Prince of Peace, dwindled on a cross so perhaps we could become emancipated of our transgressions and have perpetual life with Him forever.
Or: Jesus, our Savior, died on a cross so that we could be free of our sins and live with him eternally in Heaven.
The first one is a super exaggerated example – hopefully, nobody’s written a devotional like that, haha. But there’s a huge difference between the two sentences – the first one leaves you looking at the dictionary, and the other one reminds you why God died for you and leaves a little sense of peace. Keep in mind that simple is better!
After reading all of this post, you might feel a little overwhelmed – but writing a devotional is easier than you think! If you get stuck, use your outline and pray that God will use you to write something that will impact others. Remembering who you’re doing this for will help you keep going even at the toughest of writer’s block moments!
Step 4: Revise & Edit
You’ve found inspiration for what you’re writing about. You’ve answered questions and created an outline. You’ve written out the entire devotional, and even maybe added some graphics or a featured image. So, surely you’re done, right?
Unfortunately, there is one last step. But don’t worry – this doesn’t take too long! Revising and editing are kind of like a double check to make sure everything is perfect. You correct mistakes, spelling, and grammar, strengthen your points, polish your sentences, and make sure everything is clear and concise.
To help with all of that, it’s nice to have an extra set of eyes look over your devotional and give you feedback. A great person for this is your mom, who will hopefully give you honest feedback! You can always ask your friends, blogging friends, or people on an online group such as The Young Writer’s Workshop Community.
The more people that read your devotional before you post it, the more opinions you’ll have – which can be a blessing AND a curse! Having too many different opinions and feedback will completely backfire, since you won’t know what to think! People will always disagree with you or other feedback, and you can’t please everybody. But, having a few people read over your post is a great way to revise and edit!
After you’ve gotten feedback from others, use their feedback to help edit! You don’t have to use other’s feedback if you’re on a crunch for time – for example, if I’m just writing a little blog post, I might not edit very much at all. But, if I’m submitting an article to a magazine, I would have several weeks’ worth of editing and rewriting to polish my devotional.
Step 5: Publish!
All that’s left is to add tags, categories, and maybe some images, and you’re ready to hit publish!
Writing devotionals is a lot of hard work, but it’s super rewarding in the end. Not only will you help share a positive message and show Jesus to others through your writing, but you’ll also grow closer to Him through writing your devotionals!
Thank you so much for reading! I really hope you learned something new from this post, and that you were inspired to try writing a devotional of your own.
Did you learn anything from this post? Have you ever written a devotional? What’s YOUR number-one devotional-writing tip? Did you read the whole thing? 😛
Blogging in general isn’t easy, but Christian blogging especially can be really challenging. There’s so many different elements to it, difficult topics, and can be too close to home or really difficult to write – and then you have to worry about citing every Bible reference, making sure nothing conflicts with the Truth, proving your point in a clear and concise way that people can understand. And, of course, there are always going to be people who don’t agree with your views or don’t get it.
If blogging is so hard, then why do we do it? Because we have a voice that needs to be heard and a story that needs to be told. If you’re getting uninspired or discouraged with Christian blogging, think about who you’re doing this for. Spoiler alert: The whole purpose of this is to honor God and share his message.
So, I’ve put together a list of tools for Christian bloggers that will help make that blogging journey a little bit easier! So, let’s get right into it! (These aren’t in any particular order, and this post is not sponsored.)
I’m looking at the calendar for April, and I’m totally overwhelmed. I’ve got school, Camp NaNoWriMo (a slightly insane novel-writing challenge), dance, a ton of birthdays, holidays, events, trips, and a gala I’m an ambassador for.
I thought, How on Earth am I going to do all that AND have post a blog post every week?! I have trouble doing that already!
I decided I needed to cut back…but I love blogging so much! I was torn. What should I do?
But then, I thought…What if I didn’t take a full-on bloggingbreak? What if I just went on…a consistency break?
Basically, for the month of April, I’m taking a break from posting every week (like I’ve been doing that, haha. I’m trying, people, I’m trying). But! When I have the time and energy to blog, I’ll post!
So this means you’ll still be seeing posts from me: just not every single week.
Are you gonna miss me? 😛 Just kidding! Head on over to the American Girl World YouTube channel to watch the video version of this post. Thanks for supporting me in my blogging journey. Love you guys!
So, I’ve put together a list of 31 Acts of Kindness for you to try this March – I challenge you to do them all! And, I’m going to try to do these with you!
I’m even including a free printable checklist at the end of this post that you can put in your room so you can check them off and remind yourself to do them! We can do this, guys! Of course, you can always skip the ones that don’t apply to you (like maybe your family didn’t watch TV on March 17 so you couldn’t do #17.)
How it works: Do one of these challenges every day this March, and check it off on the free printable as you go! If you have to skip one because it doesn’t apply, save it for a different day or repeat an earlier one. Don’t worry about getting behind, because you can always do two in one day or save some for May!
Hold the door for someone.
Lend a helping hand.
Do your chores or pitch in without being asked. Your parents will thank you!
This one is from Maddie Ziegler in her book The Maddie Diaries – senda text (or letter if you don’t have a phone or can’t text) to someone you haven’t seen in forever, saying how much you miss them!
Give someone a compliment and really mean it.
Let someone know that everything is going to be okay.
Leave a sweet comment on someone’s blog that doesn’t get much traffic. Comments make a blogger’s day!
Smile. A smile goes a long way. If you smile, someone else will probably start smiling too!
Say hi or good morning to a random stranger.
Write a Bible verse on a sticky note and stick it somewhere people will see it.
Put others before yourself.
Surprise someone (Think candy, a book, something you made, a just-because card…). They’ll appreciate it!
This one is from Charis Rae – leave a note in a library book for others to see!
Give someone you love a hug.
Isn’t it so fun to get mail? Why not write a letter to a friend?
Let someone else have a turn.
Let someone else pick the TV show!
Make a just-because card.
Leave encouraging notes around a public place, like your school or library.
Pray for your friends and family.
Donate something to a charity you love.
Follow someone back or comment back.
Let someone borrow something (like a book!)
Create something – a story, a piece of art, card, a dance, poem, song – and give it to someone or dedicate it to them.
Try to only say kind and helpful things for the day. Keep thoughts of hate or dislike about someone to yourself. It’s okay to have opinions. It’s not okay to hurt someone’s feelings. If you are going to criticize someone, then do it constructively and kindly.
Let your friends and family know how much you appreciate them.
Write something (like a blog post or email) about kindness and share it with your followers or friends.
Send a nice text. Why? Because who wouldn’t love to see their phone light up with a sweet note! Include lots of smiley emojis!
Give something (a tip or word of encouragement) to someone who needs it.
Spend the day thinking about others and being as kind as you can.
I encourage all of you to take the challenge! I would absolutely love it if you shared this post with anyone you think would like to do this challenge, so that way we can spread the word! Have a fantastic day, and don’t forget to hold the door! (Day 1’s challenge :P)
Are you doing this challenge? Are you excited? Doesn’t the world need more kindness and light?
I worked super hard on the new site design! I’d love it if you read this post on the website by clicking here.
Sometimes we need to take a step back and be thankful for all that God has done for us.
Today I heard my dad tell my mom to not worry about wasting because he found out that our insulin was free. Our insurance covers it.
Why am I telling you this? Because when I heard that I realized how incredibly blessed we are. How so many families struggle to get insulin and other basic needs for diabetics. How I need to be more thankful!
There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
You’ve seen this on signs, Bibles, home decor, posters. For me, just looking at this phrase conjures up images of a wooden sign with a brush font. But despite how common or cliche this saying might be, it really is true.
There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Because even if somehow you’re in the worst situation even possible, you’re trapped in the darkness and you’re broken inside, God still loves you. And that is something to be thankful for!
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians5:18 (NIV)
So today, I want you to take a look around you. At the food on your table, the roof over your head, and the clothes on your back. Because these are things that too many people don’t have. Be thankful, for you are blessed!
Thank you, Lord, for all of my blessings. Thank you for the little things. Thank you for the big things. Thank you, God, for running clean water and light and food and a home and a family. Thank you for all you do for me. Please help me to be thankful. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
(I’m ending my devotionals with prayer now, so you can follow along and pray with me or just read the prayer while you think about the devotional. What do you think?)
What do you think of the new design? The prayer at the end? What are you thankful for?