"Remember your audience:" One of many mantras repeated by this college teacher-writer-writing tutor. Some days I think it would save me a lot of energy just to get it tattooed on my palm.
For me, today, this mantra means choosing to focus on one story that has changed me as a member of a Mennonite Church USA congregation. This story's goal is to introduce who I am and where I am in my faith walk. Talk about freakin' difficult-- especially since it will hopefully (hopefully!) jumpstart another safe place where Mennonite women are invited to share stories related to their leadership in the church.
As a member of the Women and Leadership focus group behind the web site Mennonite Monologues, I was able to offer one final suggestion that enabled me (and hopefully many, many more women) to actually sit down and write: let's invite women to share more than one story--the more, the better, in fact. The weight of having space for only one story to tell is not only intimidating, it's a form of silencing, too. We change, we forgive, we get fired up, we reach towards justice, we get fed up, etc. And so our stories transform along with us...
I'll admit that this first story of mine is not the one I originally wanted--want--to tell. But that story, at least right now, is being told in other ways.
Telling our stories is just another way of being in community with one another. I hope other Mennonite women feel this way, too.