aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,
aefenglommung
aefenglommung

Methought I heard a voice

In writing my magnum opus on Christian Education, I'm trying to find what critics call "my voice." That isn't quite the same thing as "style." The writer has to locate oneself in relation to the things one's book discusses, and to the stories one tells.

This includes a sense of time. I drafted the first couple of chapters six years ago, so in re-reading them, I sense the author (me) as a pastor currently serving as a pastor. "The way I do that . . ." is the typical expression. But now, as a retired person, I say, "the way I did that" (past tense). That will all have to be smoothed out, made consistent, in the final editing.

But I write also as a United Methodist elder. The intended audience, of course, is wider than just United Methodists (though that's a pretty large audience), but a Presbyterian or Baptist or Catholic reading my stuff can allow for my limitations. But if I finish this book this year and get it into print next spring, will all my illustrations and advice become out of date if The United Methodist Church disintegrates at General Conference 2020? How do I write the book so that it remains readable and relevant in a post-UM ecclesiastical milieu (especially since none of us know exactly what that milieu will look like)?

I need to find my relationship to whatever comes next. That will define my voice, give people a way to relate to what I'm saying. 'Tis a puzzlement. I must cogitate upon the possibilities.
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