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How I Wrote 3000 Blogs: A Few Ideas

I’ve been blogging since 2005. And it’s not been easy. Often it’s felt like drudgery. Starting in ’06, I began blogging every day. A few years ago, I moved to writing a blog a week. I’ve written over 3,000 of them and posted most. Many of the posts have had tens of thousands of readers – people …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

I’ve been blogging since 2005. And it’s not been easy. Often it’s felt like drudgery.

Starting in ’06, I began blogging every day. A few years ago, I moved to writing a blog a week. I’ve written over 3,000 of them and posted most. Many of the posts have had tens of thousands of readers – people searching for topics I’ve written about. 

How did I do it? A combination of discipline and having enough ideas to jumpstart the writing process each day. The discipline was especially important at the outset as my friends and family thought I was out of balance and should ease up.

But just as important was the commitment to spend time in ideation – coming up with new ideas. Here’s a list of ideas I may write about one day. You could help me by letting me know if there are any that you’d especially like to see. I do this to pass on anything of value that God’s given me to others.

And I submit it to you readers for your perspective – ways of seeing that I regularly need. Thanks for your partnership in getting these ideas out there!

BLOG POST IDEAS

Lessons learned building the WR (stories of big risks, tough times and mistakes)

Living as a director of a missions organization

   -most days, i’m just a regular guy trying to figure out life, follow Jesus
   -trying to be a better leader, working self out of CEO type position and more into the role of a pastor/visionary
   -explain why it’s important for leaders not to be bogged down with menial tasks

What kind of rock are you? 

Peter – “on this rock I’ll build”- a pebble, a crushed rock (we think Peter was amazing, but he was just one crushed rock among many)

How to Live as a Radical Father
   -how i discipled my kids
   -how my kids are now discipling me (share WR stories and other radical leaps of faith)
   -describe irony of kids discipling parents
   -the definition of a radical parent is one who never stops learning

The Big Journey: Families Leaving it All Behind (David Whyte calls it “the Grand Journey” – stories of families like Purdys) 

Please be tender  with me Eph 4:32 (“be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” – Ian MacLaran)

God doesn’t waste anything (he’s a master recycler of even our worst experiences)

Making a pile of money is overrated (study shows it doesn’t buy happiness after $75k)

An Amazing NGO in Southern Africa (Building the “Pulpit of Africa” in Swaziland – what makes it so great?)

We need poverty to form community (we have the opportunity to share w/ others)

I want to justify myself (why the insecurity? why can’t I just let others discover truth for themselves?)

What are the cracks that let the light in? (Leonard Cohen song Anthem – there is no perfect) 

Shoot all the arrows in your quiver (As you live, leave nothing left undone. We have many more resources than we realize)

Overusing your spiritual gift (when you have a hammer, everything is a nail)

The Tyranny of Expecting Pure Motives (Mixed motives are OK)

Balancing Scarcity & Abundance (We have more than any other generation, yet we live out of scarcity. How to move toward abundance?)

How Do I Live With Failure? (so much failure in my life! But redeemed failure)

Successful People Do Tough Things (experiment with delayed gratification – years later correlated to success)

Learning How to Be a Son (by being a father to my kids and then to my own dad. by being OK with who I am and who I’m not)

Do You Like Who You’re Becoming? (get feedback from others – another perspective)

We all Start Funny & Awkward (a fawn is a broken down cartoon of a deer, but that’s normal for all of us)

If You’re Broken, Get to Brokenness (much easier if we purpose to go there rather than being forced to)

Stick With the Winners (Cornerstone in Houston – your friends are the most important thing in your recovery. We all become like our 5 closest friends)

Confrontational Jesus (“Oh ye of little faith.” “Will you leave me too?” John 6:67, Matt 23)

A Divesting Stage of Life (Do you own your stuff or does it own you? Clint & Amie cleaning out the attic, bringing down t-shirts from years past)

What I Learned From Wrestling (Parents getting me to join the team as a freshman. a love/hate relationship. hard work and winning)

Becoming a Real Boy (Pinnochio, Velveteen Rabbit)

The Synergy of the Weak (we need one another to be effective. synergy only comes with a gap in capacity)

How to Handle Shame (finding identity in a safe place, joining the argument, B. Brown)

People of the Lie (Jn 1:47 Nat “here is a true Israelite in whom there is nothing false)

The Gift of Releasing (parents releasing their kids to try to fly. being OK with failure and with the process that trusts imperfection)

The Two Purposes of a Nest (a place of nurture and a launching pad)

Fathering vs Mothering (protect/provide/launch vs nurture)

Spiritual Forays & Incursions (how to grow in spiritual authority by going into dark places)

How to Fight for Others (we were made to set the captives free, but how?)

Who Are Your Heroes? (what is a hero? someone who fights for those who can’t fight for themselves. Heidi Baker, Kenny Sacht)

The Power of a Bully (he tells you who you are. how do we stop listening? Bullies on the internet who hit and run)

Designed to be Addicted (to ourselves, to others, to God)

We Need a Confessional Booth (560 comments on God I’m Sorry)

Be the Hero of Your Own Story (decide to fight for others)

It’s All Worship (Ed Winsler, Mac’s friend – died at 51)

Mount of Transfiguration Syndrome (Peter, “Jesus, I’ll build you booths” – we miss the plot)

Self-Awareness, Defensiveness & Feedback (building a culture where people get perspective)

Fighting to Find a Brotherhood – the story of the 6 Dawson brothers, a millionaire, an addict, a doctor, a drunk. How they learned to be brothers who cared.

Church with a Capital C (“when you gather together” – seeing reality instead of living in a bubble)

Is Survival Enough? (getting out of survival/comfort mode and into a place of purpose)

The Tragedy of the Boomer Generation (NY Times article – squandered inheritance, faith/friends/finances)

Equipped with Frailty (there’s a reason we’re weak. it’s an equipping from God)

Living as a radical disciple
   -a radical disciple doesn’t just listen to the Master, he follows him
   -what does it look like to follow jesus?
   -need to do what Jesus did
   -need to believe that we will “do greater things” than he did and continually step out in faith that it will happen

Relationships I’ve Built Thru This Blog (Uche, Emmanuel, Teri Frana, A. Lousch, Gabe Landes, Kenny Sacht)

How to Go Into Virtual Space & Still Live (it’s dangerous to connect on the web – it can suck you in and spit you out. so how do we live fully human, but sometimes connected?)

3 Things We can Control (affections, thoughts, and actions)

Deepening (listening prayer, discipleship, innovation, discovery)

Building a culture of grace and intimacy (on squads, in GA, and around the world)

Giving away unrecognized riches (my stamp collections, my time)

Why young men need to be initiated (they must learn powerlessness or they will abuse power)

The fine art of pivoting (my STM database in 1989, STMs, WR, church-planting)

My journey of innovating and failing (kingdom dreams, church planting, alumni)

Learning to lead with vulnerability (staff quitting, dealing with failure)

The importance of detoxing (from noise, self, busyness, addictions, media, stuff)

The necessity of rebellion and obedience (have to leave the old before discovering the new)

My story of living through depression (as an adolescent experiencing loneliness)

How to navigate the empty nest phase (there is no manual, but there are themes)

—————-

Or maybe there’s a topic you’d like to see me write about. Feel free to share it. I’ve still got a few more left to write.

Comments (23)

  • Yeah I’d have to say all of them. Haha. They all sound like good reads to me. I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs all these years since my Race. Always encouraging and thought-provoking. Thank you for your diligence!

  • Charles J Paparelli

    It ain’t easy but God continues to provide the topics. Thanks for the 3,000 articles. It is hard but many have benefited from the wisdom God has given you.

  • Oh my gosh, Seth. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs, Your list of ideas is fascinating and although they all sounds interesting, I think–given my stage in life–I would be most interested in:
    •We need poverty to form community
    •I want to justify myself
    •The big journey
    •Shoot all the arrows in your quiver
    •If you’re broken, get to brokenness
    •Stick with the winners
    •How to handle shame
    •Is survival enough
    •How to go into virtual space and still live

    Oh, forget it, just write them all. lol They all seem too good to choose from. Be blessed, and may the Lord continue to motivate you, lead you and give you the wisdom, tenacity and creative juices to continue doing what you do. (Thankfully thrilled to learn your father is doing better!)

  • You can get to know more of a person based on your question.
    Initially I found these blog topics below of interest but truly all of them will offer something beneficial for my life. Just write. Keep writing.

    I would love to see a topic on living a busy life in ministry as a family (ups and downs), or how to continue to balance healthy marriage as you lead and blaze trails together. …

    Living as a director of a missions organization
    Successful People Do Tough Things
    It’s All Worship
    Fathering vs Mothering
    The Two Purposes of a Nest
    Self-Awareness, Defensiveness & Feedback

    • That’s good, Jennifer. I need to write more about that:

      Living a busy life in ministry as a family (ups and downs) – how to continue to balance healthy marriage as you lead and blaze trails

  • This list is full of ideas that are right down the alley I roll and I will enjoy reading about them as you are moved to write about them.
    Top 6 (in no order)
    1. How to Live as a Radical Father
    2. We need poverty to form community
    3. Learning How to Be a Son
    4. What are the cracks that let the light in?
    5. If You’re Broken, Get to Brokenness
    6. How to handle shame

  • So many fantastic titles, I’d like to see you develop and post these:

    We need Poverty
    What are the cracks that let the light in
    The Tyranny of Expecting Pure Motives
    Stick with the winners/we become our 5 closest friends
    Mount of Transfiguration Syndrome
    (I am stopping at 5)

    • Thanks Bob (& Richard above). I’m going to probably look for themes that I see in these comments and start with those. The theme of brokenness and shame seems to be cropping up for starters.

  • This blog changed my life. True story. Thanks for writing it on the days when you didn’t feel like it, Seth. I learned a lot about writing by simply watching you go.

  • All fabulous. Of particular relevance to me would be balance in hearing God’s call and recognizing creative and delightful ways to serve God. Pursuing dreams and gratitude no matter how long the journey. I just recently was selected for and am now serving as a FA for Southwest Airlines. I am amazed and humbled that I have been called to this role, which a part of me has dreamed of for 50 years since my very first flight as a kid travellin with my parents. My itinerant ministry is as a joy broker 35,000 Feet heavenward in a metal tube while ensuring safety and hospitality. I can clearly see how each life experience I have had is a piece of a puzzle that fits together and God just gave me the elusive final piece to complete a breathtaking image. Thanks for all you do. I am now listening to discern direction for how to broaden the scope.

  • Congratulations on the new job, Kathy. I pray that God meets you up in the air. And that you’re able to continue to connect w/ your dreams along the way.

  • Seth-
    What ever you do, don’t stop writing. God has given you the curiosity and “radical living” experience that lead to wisdom. All the topics you list provide someone that is struggling with a needed dose of wisdom, guidance and experience. I’ve benefited greatly from reading your blogs through a period of “discerning what’s next” in my life. World Race has been the mechanism for my child to lead me to engage in this “inter-generational movement” at work in the world. Normal is broken. Keep being “radical” and “good weird”. Keep sharing your insight to stir others to think and be encouraged.

  • I appreciate the encouragement, Andy. And whether we meet online or out on the trail, it’s good to have you as a traveling companion!

  • All great ideas, but most eager to explore:

    “If You’re Broken, Get to Brokenness”

    Thanks,

    God bless.

  • Seth, We have gained lots from your blogs over the years…glad you will keep going! Our kids are now ages 10-16 and I am always encouraged by anything on parenting. I also second the comment about family life/ministry balance… that is a constant balance we are trying to keep here at the orphanage. But I like to read whatever topics you write. Thank you for the blessing of your blog which impacted our family in so many ways!!!!

    • You’re welcome, Heidi. You guys always inspire me with how you follow your call together and how you raise your kids.

  • Interesting… 2005 was the year I discovered AIM and your writing. Your books and blogging have been hugely formative in my personal discipleship. I don’t get to read often now in this phase of life (working full time and raising three little ones), but I will always count you as one of my spiritual fathers. I can’t thank you enough! Keep on writing!

    • You’re in a busy season, Katherine! I bless you for the way you’re pressing into God’s call on your life as a mom and a discipler. You’re doing so well.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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