I've been writing a friendly tutorial series for a small art software community. Somehow I decided to write it in first person plural, so the entire tutorial is "First, let's do this..." and "Now we can choose to do that…".
In the past I have written step-by-step tutorials in second-person voice "Step 1: Do the thing...", but this project has turned out to be more of an extended style guide than an instruction manual. I want to encourage the community to explore and come up with their own artistic choices. Most of all, I need to show underlying design concepts that crossover from a technical use of the software to grasp basic engineering concepts, the sort of thing that's learned better by doing. The community is all backgrounds from artist to programmer.
In a related issue, I've had run-ins with members of this group where they have criticized my communication as too abrupt, to the point they were offended a woman would talk in the manner that I do (which I perceive as their double-standard, since I talk exactly as they do). This part is bizarre and seemingly off topic, but it's made me hyper-sensitive of how I communicate within this group.
My issue is that this "We" voice has started to feel artificial and forced. I'm not an educator and this is a labor of love, but saying everything in first person plural is starting to feel condescending, like Miss Manners lecturing small children. "We don't jump on the furniture, Billy."
I think this is just an unfamiliar tense to me, and after editing too long it's starting to sound strange and annoying. My normal voice is sarcasm and wit. I'm also not use to being a cheerleader. I'm honestly not sure what is cloying and what is charismatic. Maybe I am also feeling resentment that I am suppressing my personal voice, but that was the choice I made when I started the project. It's for a community.
Is there a better tense to engage people in a creative activity? Do you have any advice when using this tense?