If you love writing nonfiction and are a person of faith, you may have wondered how to write a book about Christianity. Sub-genres are a challenging yet fun way to test your writing skills: The tropes that are commonly associated with either fiction or nonfiction or spotlighted.
For instance, if you choose to write a book about Christianity, you will most likely write nonfiction. Many types of fiction include Christian themes, from thrillers to fantasy, but if you choose to write a book about Christianity, nonfiction will be your genre of choice.
So, how do you successfully write a book about Christianity? Covering a topic this broad may feel overwhelming. Here are a few points to consider:
First of all, every topic is broad until you choose your action plan. Second, once you determine your end goal, you will be able to equip yourself with a plan. And third, writing is by nature a tad overwhelming. That’s why it’s such a special field! Let’s dive in.
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Familiarize Yourself With This Subgenre
The better you can understand the sub-genre before beginning to write, the easier the writing process will actually be. Read as many books as you can on Christianity so that when it comes time to write about Christianity, you have many different examples in mind.
Whether you start off with a book such as Eric Metaxes’ tome on Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World or something that feels a little more practical for daily life such as Jennie Allen’s Get Out Of Your Head, learn all you can about how other authors wrote books on Christianity.
Know Your Audience
Once you're familiarizing yourself with a genre, it's time to do the same with your audience. Eric Mataxes’ intended audience is much different than Jennie Allen’s. The manner in which they write is largely dependent on the audience they are writing to.
If you want your book to influence your target audience, it's important to write in a manner with which they will resonate.
While Eric Metaxas takes a much more academic approach to his material (granted, it’s on historical events), Jennie Allen focuses more on writing as if she’s having coffee with the reader.
Both authors, however, understand that their target audiences want facts to back up the theme of their books. Because they know their audiences so well, they provide the necessary material, in a helpful format, for their readers.
4 Steps To Write A Book About Christianity
Once you have this groundwork laid, it’s time to get to work. Below are four steps that will help you through the writing process. Don’t forget, when you decide to write a book on Christianity, or any book for that matter, there will be times when the process feels laborious. Take a day off, then get back to it.
#1 – Decide On Your WHY
Articulating why you want to write a book on Christianity is imperative. If you can’t put a finger on the reason why you want to be writing this book, the style of your book will reflect this, meandering from thought to thought until you hit your word count.
Instead, ask yourself a few questions:
- How do I want my book to help readers?
- What is the best writing method to support this?
- Why is my viewpoint needed in the marketplace?
Deciding how you will market your book to readers prior to writing it will help streamline the writing process.
Do you want to provide insight on how Christianity spread across the globe, as Metaxas did in Luther’s biography? Do you want to empower readers to take ownership for their thoughts as Allen did in her nonfiction work? Decide on your why, then get to writing.
Contemplation is one way to identify and get clear on the reason you're writing a book. But seeking the help of a book writing coach is another way to get external support and reminders for your why. Your coach has been through this experience before – they may have even been motivated by the same reasons you are – and they will be there to walk with you through every step of the writing and self-publishing process.
#2 – Write From A Place Of Humility
Writing with humility is crucial for nonfiction, especially if you want to write a book about Christianity. Consider various styles of coaching: Do you learn well when a coach tells you how bad you play and that you must do better, or when they encourage you in your strengths and inspire you to work on your weaknesses?
When writing a book on Christianity, forgo the urge to “tell” the reader how it is and instead take a come-alongside approach. People often respond better to encouragement over judgment, and a we-instead-of-you mentality.
#3 – Focus On Your Writing Voice
On the topic of we-instead-of-you, consider the overall tone of your writing voice. Look at the following two sentences, and assess which one comes across as more personable:
“If you find yourself struggling with your mindset, you need to shift your focus.”
“When we struggle with our mindset, it’s important for us to shift our focus.”
The first example is in first person, while the following uses second person. Second person is often frowned on in writing, but in nonfiction, and especially when writing a book on Christianity, it can prove helpful.
Focus on using an encouraging, we-instead-of-you voice, and you’ll be surprised how much more receptive your writing will come across.
#4 – Take A Fresh Angle
There are roughly 4 million new book titles published annually, so making yours stand out in the marketplace is crucial for sales success. Once you decide you want to write a book on Christianity, try following the below method as you begin:
- Read the top ten comparative titles published in the last five years
- Note what they did well, included, and excluded
- Identify how your book will take a new angle
For instance, Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, takes a key theme of Christianity, forgiveness, and shows the importance of forgiveness even when it’s difficult to move on.
Tyler Staton’s book, Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools, also covers an integral piece of Christianity—prayer. However, while prayer often can seem confusing and difficult to connect with, Staton presents an angle that may seem new to readers but is actually several thousand years old.
Write A Book On Christianity: Take Your First Step
Writing a book on Christianity is a big endeavor with great rewards. Writing a book not only teaches you more on the topic itself, but allows you use your passion to inspire and encourage your readers.
However, starting the process can feel daunting and it’s easy to procrastinate. Rather than exit this blog and get back to your tasks for today, consider joining our free, Faith-Based Webinar on how to write a book on Christianity.
Part of the process of learning how to write a book in this subgenre starts with simply familiarizing yourself with the different methods you can take.
Now you know the importance of familiarizing yourself with this genre and your audience and the four points to focus on as you begin writing. A helpful next step that doesn’t include any writing yet is to simply sit back and watch a webinar on the topic.
The more you equip yourself before you begin the actual writing, the more simple the writing process will be for you. Enjoy this new endeavor. We’re eager to see what you come up with!