I work in IT. That is not to say that I am an IT person, because I am not. I simply work for an IT company, writing reports about things that go wrong and tracking identified actions to completion. As part of the training I’ve received in this role, I finished course work and two projects to receive a certification for Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.
Stay with me here, I promise the entire post is not about this.
Lean Six Sigma projects are quite detailed with specific steps of data gathering and planning and risk analysis and result measuring and progress reporting. If you manage a Lean Six Sigma project, you will likely be involved for months, possibly years, completing all the steps and requirements before achieving the desired outcome. In the course of planning a project, however, if you identify what is called a “go do,” you can simply get the people you need and go do it, without all of the following of steps required for a full project.
I’ve been thinking that for quite some time my blogging has been similar to a drawn-out Lean Six Sigma project. I’ve spent a lot of time researching and analyzing and writing, mainly regarding my faith, but without identifying or completing any go do items. Not that I haven't been doing anything. I work full time and have kids. What I mean is that I haven't completed go do items resulting from all of this unraveling and listening and reading and weaving I've been writing about.
It is not necessarily bad that I’ve spent so much time writing in this way. Sometimes writing is the only way I can organize my thoughts and figure out the how and why behind my feelings. I type and type and type until things start to make sense or until I get to the root questions and then I can go back and cut and paste it into some kind of meaningful thought. Writing is very important to me. I don’t intend to stop writing.
What I do need to figure out is what direction my writing needs to take. I have been moved or inspired or infuriated by news stories or other blog posts I’ve read and have started writing responses to many of them. I have numerous drafts sitting in my dashboard hashing out my thoughts on everything from gun control to abortion to modesty culture to motherhood. Some of these drafts are even completed and edited, but I always hesitate to click "publish" and almost always talk myself out of it I’m simply not sure that is the direction I should be taking at this point.
There are some truly amazing bloggers out there who have a calling to delve into these topics and turn them over with their words to expose the hurt and truth and complexities. I appreciate those writers and reading their perspectives is extremely beneficial to me as I wrestle with where I stand. But I also read books and listen to sermons and have conversations with people, often stopping just short of certainty or complete agreement on any of the seemingly urgent topics of the day. It seems to me that if I’m unable to come up with an explanation that does justice to the complexity of how I arrived where I am with my beliefs, I’m not sure it is helpful for me to write in a way that is anything other than trying to make sense of my personal struggles.
So instead of writing to convince others to think what I think or to criticize what others are saying/doing/believing, I need to focus my writing on what allows me to work out where I should be going and what I should be doing. And then I need to go. And do. Again, I love to read what is written by the people I respect and admire and I love to write. But more and more I've realized that I need to focus on doing. Not that writing isn’t doing anything, but I can't only read and think and write without it producing action on my part.
Now that I think of it, it’s not entirely accurate what I wrote earlier about not finding a single go do in all this time. I did identify one: find a church. And I did it. And it feels awesome to have stopped obsessing over the whole church thing and to actually have done something about it. Now I just have to figure out what is my next go do and go do it.