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Where to Look for Ideas for Devotionals

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

Ideas for devotionals can come from any incident, person, situation, comment, example, anecdote, quote, statistic, fact, mannerism, activity, happening … anything that grabs your attention. 

“Ideas are all around you.” I heard that statement a lot when I first started writing. It both encouraged me and intimidated me.

It encouraged me because it was comforting. If ideas are all around everyone, that means ideas are all around me, too. But I was intimidated. 

Just because ideas were all around me did not mean that I could capture them.

The 6Ws: A Simple Tool to Gather Ideas for Devotionals

Use the 6Ws to gather ideas with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

All kinds of words, images, and conversations are fluttering around in the air. You can capture them and make them understandable when you use a simple tool: the 6Ws.

This is a series of six questions that are basic to information gathering, used by journalists to researchers to law enforcement officials to elementary school students. And by devotional writers, too. 

Sometimes the 6Ws are referred to as 5Ws and an H because the last of the six can begin with an H rather than a W.

As you go about your daily business and a situation captures your attention, take a second to ask yourself these questions:

  • Who? 
  • What? 
  • Where? 
  • When? 
  • Why? 
  • Wherefore?

Or put another way …

  • Who did it?
  • What happened?
  • Where did it happen?
  • When did it happen? 
  • Why did it happen?
  • Wherefore did it happen? … or How did it happen?

Make a conscious decision to use the 6Ws throughout your day. You have a better chance of seeing what God wants to show you when you regularly ask questions and gather information from the answers.

Have a system in place for recording those ideas (here are different ways to develop a personal system for gathering ideas.)

Once you decide to be intentional, you’ll start to notice things you didn’t notice before. Here are some places to look to get started.

Ads, commercials “Ah ha” moments Births and deaths
Buildings Chores and housekeeping Conversations
Current events Daydreams Decisions
Embarrassing moments Facts and statistics Food and meals
Historical events, figures Holidays Interesting experiences
Junk mail Medical situations, illnesses Memories
Mind maps Mistakes Movies
Music Nature and the outdoors Newspapers, magazines
Paintings, cartoons People Quotes
Sermons, lectures, classes Shopping Short stories, books
Social media Sports Television
Trends Trivia Weddings

Where do you find ideas? Tell us in the Comments section below.

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