Saturday, 12 March, 2005

Now that it's pretty much official, I can spill the beans and put Elsie out of her misery.

In the latter half of last year, I started to think more about the ministry of writing (here, here and here). Two years of doing people ministry of Wollongong had taught me that, though there were aspects of it that I enjoyed and aspects that I found quite difficult, it wasn't something that I could see myself doing every day for the rest of my life. I thought at first that some variety would be good for me (perfect ministry position = some people ministry, some administration, some writing/editing, etc.) Then I thought that really the main thing that I wanted to be doing in the future was writing/editing ministry.

So I started making plans for post-college. I figured that what I really needed was to get some training in writing. (Doing a Creative Writing degree does not count.) Matthias Media was an obvious choice, given Greg and Tony's previous involvement with our writing group. I emailed Tony about the possibility of doing something like MTS with them in 2006. Instead, he offered me a “catechist” position (like Rory Shiner's) for this year.

I was a bit confused about that so I went to see him. (Hence popping up unexpectedly at Guan's workplace.) We chatted for about an hour in which he told me his observations about mobile phones in American sitcoms and I noticed he had a proverb above his desk:

It is not good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.

(Proverbs 25:27 ESV)

(which is quite a fitting proverb to have over one's desk if you're a writer).

I was basically worried about the time factor (he was saying 6-12 hours), what the job would involve, what kind of training I would get and why he was saying this year and not next year. Tony gave me good answers to all of those things: he said that the hours could be reduced, the job would basically involve sub-editing for The Briefing, he would be training me in the ministry of editing (which is a very valuable ministry—it helps those who are great Bible teachers but not very good writers to communicate to a wider audience through the medium of print), and the reason for this year was that it was a good way to ease into this kind of thing—to get started, to see if this is what I really wanted to do, to see if me and MM can work together (we may not be able to—they're all hardcore coffee drinkers! ;P) and to fill an existing need at MM.

He asked me if I saw myself more of an editor or more of a writer. I had a brief think about it and I think I see myself as roughly half-half. I'm far more of an editor than Ben is (though he and I disagree on the use and function of certain types of punctuation). In previous years, if he asks someone for an article for the Hippocampus or, indeed, The Page, he might fix up a few spelling mistakes but generally leave things as they are. I will go through the thing with a fine tooth comb, sit down with the author and talk about what I thought was working, what I thought wasn't working, how such-and-such ought to be tweaked, etc.—or, if I can't sit down with the author, go through and heavily edit. You probably didn't notice but Issue 07 was pretty much my issue—I did it mostly without Ben and I worked on the material fairly heavily.

I talked to Ben and thought it over for about a week. Then I said yes to the offer on the condition that I start with a trial period of three months to see how things go and whether or not I'll be able to handle this on top of the college workload. I start in a couple of weeks when Tony's back in the country. It's pretty exciting stuff but it's also pretty scary. But I'm still looking forward to it.

Posted in: Writing

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That is fabulous Karen! Congratulations and well done - God is good!

congratulations Karen!  what a wonderful opportunity.  maybe i’ll catch you around lovely downtown kingsford sometime… smile

Thank you muchly! smile


Posted by Guan on 14 March, 2005 3:53 PM


You realise, both you and Guan are currently living out my dream…. :(


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