For the past year or two, I've been (sporadically) hard at work writing a book. Not the Great American Novel. Instead, it's that book I have been wanting to give people, but that didn't exist. I call it "The Anglican Way." It's a guidebook to living and worshiping as an Anglican Christian.
It's pretty audacious to write a book that supposedly sums up the way of faith for tens of millions of people. In fact, it's an absurd thing to do. I wish someone else had taken the time and energy to do it. I'm worried about getting it wrong. I'm worried that it won't be fair. I'm worried that it will be really, really boring. My greatest fear is that it will make someone more anxious, more self-righteous, or more religious.
With all those fears and worries, I've done it. Sort of. I have written what I think is my best personal effort.
Yesterday, I sent e-mails to 18 people, 9 Anglican clergy and 9 laypeople. Four of the clergy are or were seminary professors. They come from different aspects of the Anglican tradition, and each is well grounded in Anglican Christianity. The laypeople are all friends of mine who have more or less connection to Anglicanism, and who I respect as thinkers, writers, and/or artists. I asked all those people to take a month to read the draft, then get back to me with their thoughts. I need to know if my fears are true or not, or to what extent they're true.
I got two of those auto-responses "I'm on vacation and won't be checking my e-mail..." Otherwise, everyone I asked said yes. A couple had to ask for a more generous time allowance, but they're all in. I'm so grateful, and surprised. I thought at least a few of them would have better things to do. But, against my better judgment, they are doing me a HUGE favor.
Now I have nothing to do but wait. Wait and wonder. And stress out, and then refrain from stressing out, and then stress out some more. Here is what I want to hear: "that was great, and I understood it, but here are several things I think you should reconsider or change, otherwise it rocked." That would be awesome.
It's weird going from writing or rewriting every day for weeks, or months, however long, to doing NOTHING on it, but that's where I am. I guess I'll go back to blogging...