“Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere. Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.” That’s the message Christian writers proclaim. We work from the Christian Writers Market Guide and attend Christian writers conferences. But, that does not mean a Christian writer cannot write for the “secular” market.
In fact, if you write only for Christian publishers, you are “preaching to the choir.” Why not write for non-religious publications where you can reach someone who has not heard or received the message. Whatever you write about, you can include a Christian concept, a Bible verse, or an “overtly Christian” message.
Don’t just tell it on the mountain. Take it over the hills and everywhere you can.
As an example, here’s a humor piece I submitted to Hometown Magazine of the KenTenn Area (circulation 5,000).
Life Lessons: I’ve Learned….
Live, Learn, and Pass It On. That’s a good philosophy of life. It’s also the title of a gift book first published by Thomas Nelson in 1991. The book is authored by Tennessean H. Jackson Brown. “On the morning of my fifty-first birthday,” Jackson writes, “I thought it would be interesting and maybe even enlightening to jot down a few things more than half a century of living had taught me.” He expanded his own list to include contributions from children and family members. Some are funny, while others are quite serious. I like the ones that make me smile.
Some of the life observations in Brown’s book include:
- I’ve learned that you can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. — Age 7 (my favorite)
- I’ve learned that goldfish don’t like Jello. — Age 5
- I’ve learned that if I eat donuts today I wear them tomorrow. — Age 39
- I’ve learned that life is like a scooter car; not much happens unless you do some pedaling. – Age 79
Inspired by Brown, I decided to make my own list of things I’ve learned. I won’t publicize my age, but, if you know me, you realize I’m over the hill and picking up speed. I’ve learned that:
- Plumbing repairs have a way of becoming plumbing emergencies.
- One person’s perfume is someone else’s headache.
- A medicine that helps one ailment often causes another.
- Dogs are people’s best friends, but they are hard on the budget.
- Cats are nobody’s friends and they are hard on the budget, too.
- Decaf sugar-free mocha latte does not wash out of a yellow t-shirt.
- Other people’s grandkids are not as cute (or smart) as mine.
- Ants swimming in your coffee look just like big ole coffee grounds.
- My new washing machine is smarter than I am, and it’s out to get me.
- Preparation H and toothpaste look a lot alike if I’m not wearing my glasses.
We could go on, but perhaps you should take your advice from someone wiser than I am. Here’s a final word of wisdom from the Apostle Paul: “Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:12b-13 (NKJV).
Subscribers: If you have have published work (online only) that’s written for secular market but includes a Christian message, comment on this post and share the link.
Next post: To Market, To Market: Reaching the World with Your Work
Footnote: Live and Learn and Pass It On is available in its entirety on Google Books here: http://tinyurl.com/byxrdg3.