The Writer’s Desk with Dan Seaborn
Dan Seaborn is the founder of Winning At Home, a non-profit organization that seeks to support marriages and families through speaking, counseling and coaching services, community events and other media resources. Dan is an engaging and powerful speaker and a thoughtful and practical writer. He has a comfortable and humorous communication style that allows him to connect easily with audiences of all ages. Through energetic and memorable live presentations or through his books, Dan talks openly about family life—often by revealing his own struggles or failures.
As a featured speaker at various large-scale events and through his books, Dan has earned recognition as an influential and passionate communicator. Speaking all over the country, he uses practical illustrations and real-life examples to teach others how to win at home. His sincerity through his spoken or printed words, often leaves audiences nodding in agreement and his quick wit leaves them laughing.
In addition to being an international speaker and president of Winning At Home, Dan serves as the leader for the Marriage & Family Division of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
Dan has authored more than 12 books about marriage and family, and his advice is broadcast to over 350 radio stations across the United States. As a columnist, he has written hundreds of articles related to marriage and family and he is frequently asked to speak on the topic. He holds a master’s degree in Christian Ministries from Indiana Wesleyan University.
But his best experience has probably come from his own life and being married to his wife, Jane, for more than 30 years and being dad to his four children and Grandpa to six grandchildren.
More about Winning at Home:
Combining the expertise of credentialed counselors, coaches, and pastors, Winning at Home offers clarity in the midst of chaos on hard-hitting topics like mental health, technology, sexuality, and identity, for parents who are trying to raise children from a faith-based perspective.
Your home should be a place of victory for your family. But all too often, it feels like it’s not.
Parents today are raising kids in a culture that not only disagrees with their Christian faith—it strongly opposes it at every turn. We know our faith must inform every aspect of our parenting, but the Bible doesn’t always offer cut-and-dried answers on subjects like parenting a child with mental health problems, helping your kids develop good interpersonal skills and boundaries, understanding sexual identity, or successfully parenting adult children. Nor does the Church always address them—and for that reason, they can be both messy and frightening.
In Winning at Home, Dan Seaborn teams up with several of the credentialed members of his ministry’s staff to dive into the mess and help parents seeking a faith-based perspective on some of our culture’s most complex topics find firm footing.
So bring your questions with you into these pages, where you’ll discover a wealth of wisdom and resources to help you navigate the challenges of twenty-first-century parenting. It’s time to turn your losses around and start winning at home.
Q&A with Dan Seaborn
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
DS: I moved in the opposite direction that many people do in the US. I grew up in South Carolina and moved to Michigan in the late 1980s, so I’m really used to snow and cold now!
TG: Why did you write Winning at Home?
DS: Because of the combination of the work that our ministry does (therapy along with the more pastoral work that I do), we are uniquely positioned to both see the challenges that families and parents are facing right now as well as to get the word out about those challenges. And that is what this book is all about. I had the opportunity to partner with some of the counselors, coaches, and pastors on our staff to bring biblical, helpful, and practical advice in an effort to bring clarity to the chaos that many parents are feeling as they navigate the challenges of modern life.
TG: Did you have any surprises or learning moments while writing this title?
DS: Because I collaborated with some of the counselors, coaches, and pastors that work with me at Winning At Home, there are several of the more therapeutic things that go well beyond what I knew before starting on the book. Particularly some of the mental and emotional heal-focused sections were very informative for me.
TG: What do you hope readers take away from your book?
DS: I firmly believe that with the added cultural influences on parents and our children, we all need clear, Biblical guidance on the key issues we face today. It is my hope that this book can be both a challenge and encouragement for parents and that God would use this book based on solid, scriptural truth to bring hope and clarity to the journey of parenting.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
DS: I’m constantly in conversation with parents and couples about the challenging parts of family life that they’re facing. So when I see patterns show up in what people are dealing with, then I know what I want to address in my writing. I would say that my biggest habit as a writer is paying attention to those patterns.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
DS: I like to do things that help get me into a “thinking space.” Strangely enough, that’s often while I’m doing lawn care or going for a drive. I would encourage people to find their “thinking space,” even if it doesn’t look like they might think it’s supposed to look.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
DS: Peanuts and almonds are some of my favorite go-to snacks. I like them roasted or chocolate covered!
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
DS: One thing that helps me is the fact that I lead the ministry of Winning At Home and I travel and speak many weekends throughout the year. So I have enough other work responsibilities that I can just shift my focus on to other facets of my job. And letting my mind take a break by focusing on other things is helpful.
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
DS: I actually started writing as a secondary way of communicating. My main role and passion is speaking, so I think my style of speaking preparation influences my writing style. I tend to think and write in blocks of ideas if that makes sense. I flesh out one idea at a time and then I see how that fits with the next idea and the next one. So, I edit as I go and then fit the pieces together along the way.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
DS: Whenever people talk to me about their idea of getting in to writing for the first time, the biggest hurdle seems to be that they think of writing as needing to write a whole book rather than “getting ideas down on paper.” It’s a tough thing to try to fully articulate, but it’s probably how a non-exerciser would think of completing a triathlon or something. You don’t start with the idea of doing the whole thing; you start by chipping away at some beginning goals and see how that goes. If you enjoy the process of writing (or training), then keep going. And if you keep at it for months and months, you’ll accomplish more than you might expect.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
DS: Be transparent about your own flaws and failures. The very things that we’re tempted to cover up and not share with others are often the things that resonate deeply with other people who are struggling with the same things.