Happy New Year from Xulon Press. Let’s Set Some Goals for 2013.

Filed in From the Desk of... by on January 8, 2013 23 Comments

Every year at this time, lots of people are talking about making goals and resolutions for the New Year. Whether it’s to put an end to a bad habit, or kick-start a good one, it’s a wonderful time to be able to get refocused and have a fresh new start. I just love new beginnings! For me, I am choosing to restart a journey that I actually began back in September of this past year

Happy New Year from Xulon PressOn September 5th, 2012, I decided to make some drastic changes in my life. I had just turned 49, and I was relishing that final, short year before I turned 50. My mind was weighted with the kind of introspective questions which impending milestones always seem to require: What great achievements did I want to accomplish before I turned 50? What transformations did I want to make in my life before I hit that momentous 50-year mark? We all know that as we get older, the major landmarks like birthdays and anniversaries prompt us to ask certain soul-searching questions. Questions about how people will remember us, and what kind of legacy we will leave for others – especially our children and our children’s children. After some amount of prayer and reflection, I narrowed my goals to three things.  Before I turn 50, I will:

  • Write my first book.
  • Lose weight and improve my overall health.
  • Deepen my relationship with God.

Being the Sales Manager at Xulon Press has given me some incredible opportunities to talk to, and learn from, many of our authors. Each one has a unique experience and each story is significant. They all inspire me and without doubt, they have also challenged me to finally write my own book. As a follower of Christ and a pastor for over 20 years, I have a lot of things that I believe God wants me to write about. The problem was, and has been in the past, that I talk more about doing it than actually working to get it done. I was in my early thirties, working as an associate pastor when I first thought about writing a book. Year after year has passed, and the idea of the book continued to grow, but I just never made any progress. I could tell others how to do it, but my book was still in my mind.

We have a saying here at Xulon Press which we share with authors from time to time: no one should ever take a book to the grave. Sadly that has happened many times. I have actually been on the phone with the spouse or loved one of an author who has just passed away without finishing their book, and one of the things they regret deeply is that the individual never got to publish their book. I am determined to make this the year that I quit talking about the book and I get it done. This month I am restarting the journey to reach my goals before I turn 50 in September.

If you have goals that you want to reach this year, I encourage you to find a way to create accountability and form a road map to help you get there. Knowing that I would need help with clarifying and reaching my three goals before I turned 50, I started a blog entitled 365to50. The blog was a way of documenting my journey, both the obstacles and the victories while I moved toward my 50th birthday. I hoped that it would provide encouragement to whoever read it, but mainly I did it for me. I needed the accountability and the structure to help me stay committed to my goals. If you’d like to join me, you are welcome to follow me at http://365to50.wordpress.com/.

I have faced my share of struggles, and I have already dropped the ball several times since I started, but as the New Year rolls in ripe with potential and promise, I am counting down. I now have only 245 days left. I am more determined than ever to finish this race and accomplish my goals.

While we constantly pray for each author who publishes with Xulon, I want to pray especially for any of you who are wanting, like me, to get your book published this year. Just email me at dnewman@christianpublishing.com. I and my team will pray for you in your journey. I also ask you to pray for me in mine.

I have a book on my bookshelf at home that was written by my great-great-uncle. He was a pastor in Tennessee, and he probably only bought a few hundred copies of his book. It took me over four months of searching to find one copy of Is Life Worth Living?. I bought that copy for $30. When it arrived, I noticed that his signature was in the front of it. I am so glad that he wrote and published that book, so that I had a chance to read it and have it to give to my children. This year I encourage you to set goals that will bless not only you, but future generations to come. Those are the most worthy goals worth fighting for.

Happy New Year


About the Author ()

Donald Newman, Director of Sales for Xulon Press, has over 20 years experience working with Christian authors and editors. As a Pastor for that same time, Don truly believes that every Christian book has the ability to minister to each one who reads it. "You just never know what a book can do. One book can change thousands of lives and other times we see where one book can change one life that changes thousands of lives. Just look at the many books that have touched more than one generation. Nothing has the ability of touching many generations for God like a well written Christian book." Don leads and manages the sales team at Xulon with this one thought in mind..."Books change lives everyday". At Xulon Press we are in the business of changing lives, one book at a time.

Comments (23)

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  1. avatar Les LaMotte says:

    Yes, I have been working on my book for the last 4 years… however, I recently lost all resources, so it has set me back to the beginning. However, one handy tip is to take all of your writings of value that you have written on Facebook and other places is to store the emails contents… so I am writing it as I continue on until I can begin seriously get going on my book. So, I am continuing to write content and then I plan on using some of the information to become chapters… from which I can launch more thoughts. I probably have several books that are being developed. One about my personal business… Ten dollars to 14 million… about my business for over 14 years. The other is… Following in the Steps of Jesus… my work and heart for the people of the South Sudan that I have visited 3 times and how they have won my heart and how, I am focused on using what I already know and how much they need what I have to share with them. I probably have one more in me about… My Father… learning what it means to be a Father when yours was absent… My personal journey searching to find what it means to be Father from our Heavenly Father.

  2. I am currently Illustrating an Artist Family History Book, and from actual dates from our family history, writing short ficticious essays, dated as far back as 1760. I started writing some Poems that inspired the desire to write a historical novel. Together with resourcing and from actual references to dates of births, marriages, and knowledge of occupation, this Artist book has become a narrative, about Cumbria, England, it outlines some of the historical premise and events that were discovered from life between 1760-1900. As we have travelled and lived in two other countries apart from where we grew up, there will be a sequel following on from the mid 1900’s. We set sail from Southampton to The Cape of Good Hope and it was the start of an adventure for us, some advance in career and life experience, integrating with new cultures, and observing the beauty of the creation, inspired and instilled new insight for writing short essays or poems. Immigration is a journey that can be enthralling and risk taking at times, but rewarding all the same, especially when it stimulates one to write and paint from images of places and culture, where one has seen and been! I am still writing and illustrating from images, but there is a long way to go as formatting does take quite a considerable time. I wish you all well with your endeavours in writing and resourcing your books, and with God’s help and direction it will progress at the time designated given to produce a manuscript. The Creation expresses alot of beauty and sham and these are the topics I write about in sustaining life , through the Art of Writing or Illustration. May the light of Consciousness guide the way, in harmony and for good will. The Artist book I am currently working on is produced for the purpose of Health and Wellbeing and I hope it will bring joy to those who read it, and inspire people to seek Truth and Light.

  3. avatar Kim Hedrick says:

    I wish my concern for 2013 was whether I would leave a legacy for my children, and is certainly not having run out of funds for my book project, as I never had any to begin with in the process. I am 39- have been single for nearly 10 years again. Had a biblical divorce- as abuse was very much a part of the divorce. I have struggled by myself through two bouts of cancer and multiple surgeries and treatment. I lost a six-figure job and everything that went with it- have no home, car, husband, or children. My body has been through absolute hell and me personally to be honest. So, if your challenge for writing a book to advance God’s kingdom is something petty like- time or money or focus because of your job, wife, children, etc.- it’s not really that much of an excuse at all- and would guess that God probably has the same view. I had a horrible traffic accident yesterday and am stuck somewhere between hating the world and having understanding of why someone who has served God on the level, and to the extend that I have served would suffer on a level that I can’t really put into words. Before I get a backlash here- I am and have been a prayer warrior for years, involved in World Vision, Women of Vision, Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse, mission work across the country and am very much a Christian. I don’t need or want your reminders of scriptures on overcoming, waiting on the Lord, healing, etc., etc. I think I have just come to a place where God is letting my anger and frustration out and wanting me to share that it is no longer cool for God’s people to just say, “Oh, I will pray for you…,” or just give a scripture. He wants His people to do…to be the hands and feet of Jesus. What a different world this would be if we stopped passing the buck to God and did something about the concern or need ourselves!

    My vision from God has been to share the struggle of purity, divorce, sex, relationship struggles in the Christian world and world today for those wanting God’s best but fighting enormous battles. The book is a play on Jacob and Esau’s story as sons of Isaac and lineage of Abraham. Esau was the oldest son and should have inherited the family blessing instead of Jacob, but he sold his inheritence for a bowl of soup. Kind of the way Christian’s and non-Christian’s today are selling the inheritance of a beautiful intimate marriage relationship for the momentary satisfaction of a “bowl of soup,”- a one night stand, sex before marriage- fill in the blank. The statistics today for youth and teens engaging in sex is astronaumical. The religious community tries to put a pretty face on this issue, but it is clearly as wrapped up in this culture that is damaging lives and marriages. So, the book is, “Selling Your Inheritence for a Bowl of Soup.” Not my concept- God’s and my struggle has been being healthy and strong enough to do anything!
    P.S. If you are wondering how I was in a car accident and don’t own a car anymore- the car was my parents…

  4. avatar Pat Nolen says:

    Enjoyed reading your article Mr. Newman. It really helped to inspire and motivate me to really commit to getting my book written. As I read your article I thought about all the books I’ve read that have helped me and made a difference in my life especially as a teenager and young adult. I would like to write a book that will really make a difference in the lives of others and have hope that the book I have in mind will do that. There seems to be so many obstacles which for me number one is time. Presently I’m trying to work on getting some necessary things in the way of chores out of the way with a goal in mind of really getting down to work on my book.

    I once heard President Nixon say that writing takes a great deal of work, something to that effect, and for some reason his statement has stuck with me over the years. It seems he may have been talking about writing a book or a book he had written. Even though I already have most of the book in my mind, I know for me to get my book written will take a lot of work but I also know that the work will be worth it.

    Enjoyed your article.

    • Pat,

      Thank you for your response and I couldn’t agree with you more, it is a lot of hard work. My Wife, Tracee Newman, just had her first published last year with Xulon. I can remember watching her get up early every morning to write. I also saw her face when “The Adventures of Akeem” was released last year and she received her first copies. She is the one who first told me that writing a book is like birthing a baby. Its a lot of hard work but the feelings you have for the finished product are hard to describe. While I cant fully understand that illustration, being a man, I know it has to be very special. I will keep you, your book and your journey in prayer.


      Don Newman

  5. avatar Nicoleta says:

    Mr. Newman…I enjoyed reading your honest, heartfelt letter, and of course it struck a cord…so much…I wish I too could figure out how to begin a blog. You see, the disadvantage of being a dinosaur carries a wagon of precious pebbles a good number of people may appreciate for different reasons.
    As long as I can remember I wished to be read, so the dream continues to wake me but I get on with the necessary mundane, and so the years have ended. This new one has me busier than still ever before. So, I’m not sure I can call Mr. Lopez…but I am so very glad to have read your sincere attempt to gather us into your theater for…auditions? :-)…Thank you.

    • Nicoleta,

      Thank you for your comments. I want to encourage you to continue believing and working toward your desire to one day be read. I encourage you to check out a blog site that can give you a lot of information about blogging, writing and reaching people with your message. The site is Michaelhyatt.com. On his site you will read on how to have a successful blog. Maybe there is someone who could help you do this. I actually have my daughter Brittnee take my written thoughts for the blog and edit and place it for me on the site. She will run it back by me before she publishes it. That way I get to see it before it is posted. Maybe something like that would work for you. I encourage you to check that out and please contact Mr Lopez whenever you have time. Even if your not ready to move forward we would like to get connected to you.

      Don Newman

    • avatar Donna Joy Dohme says:

      Nicoleta, You need to write. I read books and articles to my residents at a nursing home. For 8 years I have worked in the activity department and I work with the alzheimers and dementia residents, and they love it. Even the men get into the books. It amazes me. The way you write would fascinate them. Think about it, shalom. Always, Donna Joy

  6. avatar Kaila says:

    Thank you for the graceful invitation to the New Year challenge. I couldn’t be more excited to write a book. I have been writing my personal diaries since 14– that was ages ago, but I have never written a book. Few years ago, I was praying for a “Master Mind” (Napoleon Hill) who can guide me in this endeavor and to be given the breakthrough. Great people inspire me, whose who have been in the crucible, and triumphed against all impossible odds to serve their God-given purpose. These people are bigger-than-life: Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, Dr Martin Luther King Jr….or perhaps even a simple character like Winnie-the-Pooh.

    I reckon your office is based in the US. I’m currently living somewhere here in the Southern Hemisphere- a distant miles away. I am somewhat a transnational, multicultural person. I have been displaced many times and searching for the meaning of home.

    • Kaila,

      Thank you for your comments. I pray that you connect with all the right people who will help you and connect you to your destiny. All of us need the influence of others, especially the type you mentioned. I will pray for that connection for you and for the books that will be written one day.



  7. avatar Angela LaRae says:

    Mr. Newman, thank you for your article. It inspired and motivated me to push forward. I started by entering your most recent contest! I’m a worshipper in love with Jesus, adopted into the family of GOD since September of 1992 and an adoptee reunited nearly 21 years ago with entire biological family. My story is about restoration, salvation, forgiveness, identity, reformation, transformation of hearts and lives, the eternal benefits of sufferings for Christ: changing us to be like Christ to prepare us for eternity with Him – on earth as it is in heaven; and knowing, really knowing the unconditional, relentless love of God and His heart and dreams for us. I agree with you: getting it on paper is challenging, but I’ve been wondering, as I’m writing it is healing and awakening me to new heights; how much more will it heal and inspire faith and hope in others? We have an amazing Dad who is good all the time, never stops loving us, never leaves us even when we are angry with Him, leave Him or are too self-absorbed. I pray you give God your story because it’s really His story (His-tory) for you and the world, and that I finish mine as well this year and that by God’s grace He finishes what He’s started in each of us until the day of completion. God’s presence, peace, grace and health to you, Mr. Newman, your family.

    Sincerely, Angela

  8. Trust and believe in God. If the Living God, through Jesus and by the Power of the Holy Spirit has put it upon your heart to write down his truth so in your generation and beyond people may be blessed by your words then never give up. Fix your eyes on Jesus.

    It is said of Winston Churchill that he attended a Oxford University debating society debate late; very late. He stood up and said “never give up,” and sat down. He then did the same again and again. Finally he said, “Never, Never, Never give up!” They gave him a standing ovation.

    Little by little, step by step, believe and receive and bless the rest.

    The critics and mockers will come; but listen to the voice

    Mike C
    Lichfield UK (the last place they burnt some one for preaching true to the word. Its not like that anymore. Mind you if it was not all ministers would get burnt!???)

  9. avatar DARLENE FRIESEN says:

    God has put on my heart to write my story for a few years now. Ihave felt this since 2006 when i went through cancer, and by the way glory to GOD for healing me, i am six and one half years cancer- free. GOD is an awesome GOD!!!!!! I just don’t know where to start, i guess i need more self- confidence.
    Is there someone that could instruct me or guide me through?

    • Darlene,

      Thank you for your email and your testimony. I am inspired and touched by what God has done for you. I am going to have your consultant, Michelle Johnston, contact you in the next few days. You can also contact her at mjohnston@christianpublishing.com, or you can contact me at dnewman@Christianpublishing.com. We have a resource that I am going to have Michelle send to you that is called “How to Get Started”. It really is very helpful and with some coaching from us I know that you can find the place to start and make this the year that you move forward with the story that you have in mind. Please email Michelle or me your best email address and we will send you that resource. I will be praying for you, that this is the best year ever for you and the book that you have in mind.

  10. avatar kea says:

    I decided to write my book in 2009, and I actually completed it in 2010, but I lost my hard drive on my lap top and my whole book was gone. Now I am starting all over, but i know that if God was willing that I published that information, it would have happened. I just recently purchased Dragon and I will begin my new book in the coming weeks. I also found a new title that coincides with my previous title. I thank God daily for all of the doors that He opens and for wisdom and knowledge in all things pertaining to His kingdom. I am ready to touch many lives with the story of my life, but in all things giving God, His glory. hope everyone has a blessed and prosperous New Year!

    • Kea,

      Thank you for your comment. I am going to be praying for you, that as you rewrite your book that you are able to recall everything and even add new things that God may want you to write about. I encourage to read the story of Thomas Carlyle who rewrote an entire book by hand. In fact the story goes that Carlyle sent his only complete manuscript of “The History of the French Revolution” to his editor. It is then told that the editors maid mistook it for trash and had it burned. Heartbroken by the incident, Carlyle then rewrote the entire manuscript by hand, achieving what was described by himself as a book that came “direct and flamingly from the heart.” I encourage you to pray and continue to rewrite your book. I look forward to hearing great things about it.

      • avatar Pat Rich says:

        Dear Don,
        Ihave been a writer of young teenage books and have had two published by publishers and 9 others self published. I am co-editor of our Christian Writer’s Fellowship and we have self published about seven books over the years. I taught scripture for 35 years and Sunday School for 50 years. I found there were many young people who found it hard to read so I wrote novelettes I suppose you would call them of round about 100 pages for those who did not know Jesus but the main characters in the book were either Christians or searching for Him without knowing it. Those who have read these books found them hard to put down and some were those who had not been able to read a full book before. My aim was to reach the 11-15 year old teenager or perhaps a little older. I have 27 grandchildren and fourteen greats so I know how they tick. My tip to you is to start the first line and God will open your mind on how to write your first book. Thinking about it in your mind does not work. I have found that. I pray and then I start and it has amazed me how my stories growl Often the characters take over and do what I had not intended them to do. The kids and even the adults say the characters are so real they walk about in their minds; Finding a publishing house is difficult so Xulon Press seems a good way to start. At the age of 83 I have written many books that I have not had published and am tempted to rewrite some of them again for the older teenager. So far I have started rewriting one and hope to finish it soon. So take my advice don’t think about it. Do it. Start the first line right now. Pat Rich

        • Dear Pat,

          I cannot thank you enough for your comments. I think you said it better than I did. I will do just what you suggested. I have started a portion of my writing and I am seeing some great results as God helps me to create it and get it onto paper. Your right, you can never write a book in your mind. I would love to hear more from you and more about the work you have done. Please email me directly at dnewman@christianpublishing.com when you have time. Again, thank you for your wonderful comment and wisdom.

          Don Newman

  11. avatar Karen Powers says:

    It has been so interesting reading all of these comments. I am 64 and now not working so it would be a chance for me to write. I have always written small poems, both worship to God and some as part of personalized greeting cards.

    I have never tried to write even a short story but would love to try. I entered the recent writing contest held by Xulon with a fictional story called “Pastor Clifford’s New Beginning.” I understand your desire to write and the trepidation of stepping out and doing something for the first time. I would love to know what the judges thought was good and bad about by entry but maybe we both should just agree to keep trying. lol

    God’s blessings on you as you step out.

  12. avatar Josh Baker says:

    Don, thank you for your generous sharing.

    I’m surprised to see so many horror stories of lost work due to failed hard drives. May I recommend the following solutions which I used when writing my book, “Please Don’t Remove MarGreat’s Glasses!” last year:

    1. Get a free Microsoft SkyDrive account. You can save a MS Word Doc file in your very own private, secured, web repository. I think you get 2Gb of free space to store files. When you work on your book (everyday right?) you log onto your MS SkyDrive web portal and open the Word Doc from there. It will download the file and open it in your local copy of MS Word. Now the cool thing here, is that everytime you click ‘save’ or CTRL+S, it automatically saves your work to the cloud! If your PC dies – you can log into your web portal from any computer and still get your latest version of your file! You will sleep better at night. Here is a link to sign up for free! https://skydrive.live.com/

    2. Sign up for a Google account. They have a similar service called, “Google Drive” where you get a chunk of space to store and work on files. They may prompt you to convert your document when uploading it – but I always said no. The conversion messed up my formatting. Just go to google.com and create an account (if you don’t already have one) and you will see the ‘Drive’ link after logging in. If you already have a Google account, you probably just never thought to click that link before!

    3. Sign up for a Dropbox account! You start with 2Gb of storage space. It is a manual process to upload your docs, but at least they are off your hard drive in case it fails. You can sign up for your free account with this link: http://db.tt/pvdZvmCD

    All of these tools are free and very secure!

    If you have the budget for it (about $60/year), you can subscribe to Carbonite online backup. It integrates with Windows and constantly syncronizes your ‘Documents’ folder to their online backup space. A lifesaver! You can get more info here: http://pop.to/15jfb

    Blessings to all of you. Best of luck reaching your goals this year!

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