I recently entered a competition. It was run by the Association of Christian Writers and Big Bible. There were twenty entries. My entry was not a winner, but I have received some useful feedback. I am allowed to publish my entry here:-
Christian writing in the digital age
In the past writers could put forward their ideas in manuscript or print. Copies were limited in number. Manual typewriters, electric typewriters and word-processors have been joined (if not completely superseded) by computers and other devices including mobile (cell) phones.
The digital age brings a new dimension.
Most computers can access the mushrooming information cloud, which is the worldwide web. Any writer who means business is expected to have a blog. This in turn may have a facebook page. The writer, who is now a blogger (or a God-blogger), might also be persuaded to promote the blog on twitter and other social media. All this activity is time-consuming.
The writer has to juggle writing and publicity, prioritising various writing projects, such as works in progress, while keeping the interest of readers by regularly publishing new and interesting blog posts.
For an introvert it can be a real act of faith to set up a blog and press publish for any piece of writing, which will then appear as a post or page visible to anyone in the world.
Another responsibility is to respond to comments. This is important. People have (hopefully) read the piece of writing they are commenting on and spent time thinking how to respond. They deserve a reply, which should be gracious and respectful. How a blogger responds to an individual comment may attract or repel other readers as much or more than the original post. So here is another task requiring discipline and discretion.
Styles of writing have changed less than technology. Poetry or prose, fact or fiction and any of the genres within them remain. Now the potential readership is any (or every) computer user in the world. The language may need to be edited to address differences between UK and US usage. (There is an example in the first paragraph above.)
As well as having to write interestingly, the blogger may also be expected to provide illustrations. Digital photography is a useful tool. Images from the internet may also be used as long as copyright is not infringed.
Above all the writer of any content on the web needs to be aware of how to make it visible to the target audience. Linking to busier blogs and effective use of categories and tags are two ways of helping readers find posts.
Christian writing is essentially the same as ever, but the delivery has changed. A parallel is between acting on stage and screen. It is still acting, but different techniques are used.
Only through Bible study, prayer and attentiveness to the Holy Spirit can a Christian writer hope to balance all the demands of the digital age.
The results were posted here. In case you are interested in reading any more entries, I am linking to them here.
Two honourable mentions.
The other entries.