Newsletter 601 – Six Hundred Newsletters

blog 3About 13 years ago I wrote a newsletter about coaching and counseling trends and sent it to people with email addresses in my inbox. It never was my intention to continue this for years and neither did I plan to comment when we reached newsletter number 600 last week. But a friend urged me to share some of what I’ve learned about writing newsletter/blogs for so long. So here goes: 

  • Getting started. When this began I was no longer teaching or heading a counseling organization but I wanted a platform to let a few friends share what I was learning. Sometimes lasting things begin for no great reasons.
  • Setting parameters. Most blogs show the writer’s values. I wanted to be practical, relevant, up-to-date, culturally sensitive, and futuristic. These posts are not about self-promotion, selling my books, or (apart from this week) sharing what I’ve learned from a long career. I build on Christian values but try using a tone that is low-key, never preachy nor manipulative.
  • Purpose. These posts share observations about helping and building people, drawn most weeks from contemporary publications in business, education, ministry, coaching, therapy, or leadership.
  • Finding readers. This is mostly by word of mouth. Our audience is relatively small, multinational, older, and people involved in helping others. Many are long-time friends. In addition to these, I’d like to have more academics, students, and emerging professional care-givers and leaders. Probably I should be more focused.
  • Motivation. Why do I keep going? Who am I writing for? This answer is not very noble or spiritual but mostly I write for myself. Producing this newsletter forces me to keep learning, keep relevant, and keep synthesizing what I am learning in 400 words or less. One goal is to keep this engaging and interesting.
  • Coming up with new materials. I never stop looking for new ideas or perspectives so this weekly post shares what I’m learning. If anyone reads, reflects or takes in a lot, fresh ideas rarely are lacking.
  • Quitting. This will happen when I get bored or unable to keep going. Maybe we can reach newsletter 1000. That would come around in-mid 2023. Are any of you planning you to stick with me?

Would fellow-bloggers or blog readers add anything that may be helpful to others? Please share your comments.


  1. “Are any of you planning you to stick with me?” By 2023, we should no longer have to read. Your speaking, dancing hologram will appear in our space or in our mind. However, we may have difficulty distinguishing you from other virtual beings vying for our time, attention and obeisance.


  2. Me!! I’m stickin’! Always look forward to your letter and never fail to be encouraged or instructed. Thank you for 600–looking forward to the others. Many blessings to you!


  3. I believe that I’ve had the privilege of reading all 600. I’m in for 400 more! You’ve spurred me on to love and good deeds many times over the years, and I’ve researched articles to which you have alluded for my own presentations. Much love and thanks.


  4. I am not a blogger, but I am a faithful reader and blessed greatly with the articles your write. I have read almost every book you have suggested, gaining valuable insight into many areas of life. I also quote you and use your articles as I teach either Adult Sunday School Class or on going Leadership classes. I myself have been teaching in a Bible Ed. setting for 48 years and as long as the Lord sees fit, I am sticking with you and encouraging others along life’s way. May God continue to grant you a sharp mind, a willing spirit, and new insight. Smile, you are greatly appreciated and admired (in a humble way.)


    1. Barbara, what a great comment. I have two younger guys who have promised to tell me when I am not sharp enough to be doing this anymore. They will know before I do. I hope they are honest enough to tell me when the time comes if I am still going. Everyday I thank God for my health and for the sharp people with whom I interact.


  5. As I read the comments above I could relate to most of those and just about decided not to reply however I changed my mind. Good things sometimes deserve repeating. I haven’t read all of the first 600 however I have read a good number and have forwarded many of them on to a group of coaches I am connected with. I respect and appreciate you and your blog. God willing I’m hoping to hang in for another 400.


    1. Thanks so much Jack. Someplace in my computer I have all 600 letters but, like everybody else, I forget what most of them said. But doing this every week keeps me on my toes and hopefully up to date. And it is a good exercise to keep under 400 words. Most weeks it is fun except then I reach a week and don’t have anything to say. Usually God shows me something but if not I just skip the week – but this is rare.


  6. I’m sticking with you. Been with you too long to exit now–smile. You are always a breath of fresh air.


    1. Gary, my friend, there is nobody like you. You have been a supporter for years (even when I turned down your offer — or was it a loving push — for me to join your faculty). On cold days like this winter, maybe I should have joined you in the sunny south. But like most of the US and Canada it probably has been frigid in Arkansas as well.


  7. I appreciate your willingness to try a new medium to communicate that seemed kind of scary to me back when I started following your blogs! It has encouraged me to stay fresh and communicate in new ways! Thanks, and I’ll be reading more.


  8. If the Lord’s willing, I will be here. I have followed you since I met you at AACC. You encouraged/edified me then and you continue to do so. Thanks!


  9. Gary, thanks for these blogs, and more so for You!…! I have “stuck with you” for 26 years, …..”planning to stick with me” …for a while to come!


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