I mentioned in earlier posts that I changed the audiences I was writing for – multiple times, in fact. When I began the cultural research parts of this series in the 1990s, I intended my audience to be primarily people who were “planting” faith-based organizations – churches, ministries, non-profits. The original title was, Will Wearing a Nose Ring Make Me Relevant?
That expanded to what I then called “culturologists” (what are more often called “cultural geographers” nowadays) and futurists. Back then, I also planned to write separate volumes for those dealing with recovery from victimization via spiritual abuse of authority/power in religious settings. The revised titles referred to esoteric identity subculturology or subculturanean systems. Definitely more theoretical than practical.
A final, and surprising, shift came in 2015, after I’d been diligently boiling down hundreds of pages of preliminary work. I felt I should target the material to broader categories of social entrepreneurs, not just the limited subgroups doing church-related work.
I resisted that redirection at first, eventually sensing the wisdom in it even if I wasn’t all that excited about what it meant for rewrites. I had to revise the order of the volumes, adjust the language so it wasn’t limited to religious audiences, and integrate the series in ways that would amplify the benefit to all of my former intended readers – if they worked together to develop common ground for the common good. That reordering and rewriting process took two full years, but what is now Field Guide #1 is done! Watch for the publication date. Meanwhile, here is how the final mix of expected audiences turned out for the series, and what I concluded were central principles around which all three groups could integrate collaborative efforts. Continue reading