**This is the letter sent to everyone who is participating in the project, sans the address where you’ll send the letters.**
Let me start by saying thank you for agreeing to be part of my little project. I’m excited to see where there goes. I have some plans for it, but I also know that these types of projects evolve.
I know some of you, but many of you I don’t. So a quick introduction. My name is Brad King. I’m a writer and journalism professor (amongst other things). But what I love the most is running my writing collective in Indianapolis called The Geeky Press. Part of what we do is develop collaborative writing projects.
I came to this project because I’m so very interested in exploring ideas. Sometimes that works best through a single writer exploring the topic, which is how I’ve made much of my career. But most times I’ve found it best expressed through the voices of individuals, unfiltered by writer’s super-ego. (If you want a good example of what I mean by this individualized voice, I suggest any Studs Terkel book!)
Let me answer a few questions several of you have asked.
- You can participate as much, or as little, as you want. This is entirely up to you. Obviously, I’d like you to participate each month, but I know that won’t be the case.
- You should feel free to spread the word to your friends and others who might be interested. This isn’t limited to people of faith. This is a project meant to include everyone. (As some of you may know, I am an atheist.)
- This is a project meant to explore your own personal faith through letters. This isn’t meant to be an attack on somebody else. The letters should explore your own feelings. In that way, I think people who read can begin to understand that matters of faith are oftentimes far more nuanced than a headline.
Now, this is how Faith, Fully works
- Every month, I’ll choose a topic, which I will email out to everyone. That topic will be a question, with a short explanation of what has driven me to consider that. You should feel free to explore that topic however you’d like, in as much or as little detail as you choose. There are no rules. (And if you have a topic, please feel free to suggest it. I want this to be a collaborative process all around.)
- You’ll have one month to respond to the prompt in the form of a letter that you’ll write to me (Dear Brad:). Those letters would be best if they were written on your computer because…
- I’d like you to mail me the paper letter, and I’d like you to email its contents. The paper letters will be kept as a document for the project. I’m considering ways to create a physical implementation of the project. And the email will be used so that I can post your letters on The Geeky Press, where this project will be housed.
- In terms of the website, I’ll post all the letters under the tag FaithFully so that anyone can read them.
- Since we’re talking about a topic that gets people riled up, I’m going to be rather strict when it comes to moderating the comments that people leave on those posts. I want to have a smart, introspective, interesting conversation. I don’t want the Internet trolls to turn this into a free-for-all. And if things get too out of control, I’ll just shut down the comments. (My site, I make the rules!)
- In terms of the book, I want to let the project get started, see how it morphs, and then figure out the best way to create this. Once we move into the publishing phase, I’ll use on-demand publishing tools to create a physical and digital version of the book. And, if we receive loads of fascinating stuff, we may have more than one volume. Not every letter will make it into the collection (although all of them will be posted online). I’ll build a cross-section of the most interesting conversations.
The first question will go out on Monday, August 15, 2016. And the first posts will go up one month later. That same day, I’ll send out the second prompt. And so on.
The prompts will be posted here on the site so that everyone can see them, but each participate will receive an email directly.
It’s never too late to get involved
If you’d like to join the Faith, Fully projects, just drop us a line and let us know that you’d like to be involved. We’ll get in touch with you, add you to the list, and you can join in however you’d like.
Photo by Kevin Dooley. Used under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, Attribution License. Original photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/2737698737