Is writing a book one of the dreams you have for your life?


According to a survey in the USA Today, 82% of adults dream of writing a book one day. I know that statistic may seem high, but just ask yourself if you have ever desired of becoming an author? If the answer is yes, then you’re just like me and millions of others with the same common dream.

While millions may dream of becoming an author, only a small percentage of those dreamers actually attempt to write and actually have a book published. What is it that blocks most people who dream of becoming an author from actually doing it? There are five roadblocks to why people find a reason not to pursue their dream of becoming a published author. Some never start while others quit before they finish. Here are the five……

  • I don’t have time. Personally this has always been my biggest issue. Everytime I try to schedule time, something takes its place and I go another week without writing. I was starting to think I would just have to wait until I was retired and had nothing else to do. The issue of time is best solved by a simple commitment to a planned writing schedule, a writing schedule you can really keep. You may say that you only have 10 to 15 minutes every day during the week. And you may ask “What can you do actually do in 10 to 15 minutes every day for five days a week?” Think of it this way, if you can just write one page a day during that time, during that 15 minutes, then you would have written over 40,000 words in just over 4 to 5 months. Thats plenty enough for your first book! How do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time.


  • I don’t know if the idea for my book is worthy. You struggle with the idea that no one will want to buy or read your book when its finished. Do you know how many authors struggled with the same idea when they began? Do you know how many famous authors struggled with the same idea? That’s not to say that every book is going to be a Best Seller or will become the next great “Summer Novel”, but you will never know for sure until you try. Talk to someone you trust, someone that knows a thing or two about writing or books. Ask them to give you an honest opinion about your book idea. “In short I would rather live with disappointment than die with regret. You can guarantee that no one will buy or read your book, or you can take a chance that someone might actually want to read it and find out for sure.” 


  • I don’t know if someone else has already written this book before. While I can almost guarantee you that someone, somewhere at some other time has written a book that is similar to yours, I can tell you that there is no other book around just exactly like the one you are going to write. Books are like Snowflakes, and while they all can look alike, when you get down to the details, they are all very different. Just look at the last book you read and really loved. Open it and find the line or paragraph you highlighted and underlined. You know, the one place in that book that made it worth buying and reading. I bet that story, statement or illustration is not found in any other book in the world. Only if it was a quote or if it was restating something that had been written before, that’s the only time you would see it again in another book. Plus, maybe no one from this generation or from your own regional location has written a book like yours. “Only reprints are copies, yours will be an original!”


  • I only want to write and publish a book that is perfect. While all artist are particular, authors and writers can be very hard on their own writing. There are no perfect books in the World! I believe that while there are no perfect books in the world, outside of the Bible, there are actually a lot of good or great books that have found their way to the audience that enjoys them the most. While the statement above does not suggest that there are no bad or poorly written books in the world, the idea of the perfect book is really nonexistent except for the Bible. While everyone should work hard to write the best book they can, including good editing, they should not let the fear of their book not being perfect keep them from writing it and releasing it. “There is a big difference between an imperfect book that is read and a perfect book that is never written.”


  • I don’t know where to start at. Today more than ever there are tools and services where people can get help to move their idea into a form and outline that makes sense. With a great starting point and a great map to guide you along the way, you can find the road to becoming a published author easier than you think. There are even editors that can help you through the entire writing process. I know at Xulon Press, where I have worked for the past several years as the Acquisitions Director, we have built in a system that can help almost anyone find where to start. We like to say “It’s our calling to help you get the book that is inside of you out!”

No matter what you do or how you do it, don’t let these roadblocks stop you from moving forward on your dream to become a published author. You can become a published author and no one knows who is waiting to read what you have to say, what you have to write!

Keep Dreaming

Coach Don

God’s Stop Sign: Two Ways to Stop Worry and Negative Thoughts!

Originally posted on 365toChange:

Question! Have you recently had to battle negative or discouraging thoughts in your mind?

If you have, you’re not alone. Recently and in the past, I have had a few battles with negative thoughts of my own. Many times these thoughts come out of nowhere. You may know the kind of thoughts that I am talking about. Those thoughts that begin as you look at a problem or issue and before long you’re on the road of fear or worry. The thoughts begin with one single thought and then as your mind begins to turn it over, you begin to lose altitude, you begin to lose your joy. It something how your thoughts can go from being random to being filled with seeds of worry and fear. You may even find yourself beginning to get angry at someone, maybe even God Himself. Many times if these thoughts go unchecked, you…

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What are you looking forward to?


As you look at other people throughout the day, try to notice those that either look happy or content. Now, if you dare, and if you feel comfortable, ask one or two of them what are you looking forward to today? You might even phrase it as “What are you looking forward to this year or in life in general?”

In almost every instance, you will find the most content individuals will have something that they are looking forward to, either that day or somewhere in their future. What is it about having a positive future vision that causes us to be happy in our current situation?

My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. This verse makes the point that God has thoughts that He thinks about us and those thoughts are focused on a hope and a future. So what is it about having something hopeful to look forward to you that has the power to change who we are today?

  1. Having a future hope helps us endure a current negative situation. No doubt about it, having something wonderful in your future can help you endure a current situation. If you knew that the dream job was just around the corner and you were to going to get there soon, come “Hell or High Water”, you would feel different about the job you are enduring today.
  2. Having a future hope helps us see other people differently. If we have trouble seeing our own future and our own situation ever changing, we will really struggle to believe others have the ability to change as well. The optimist not only believes that they can change and become better, but also they believe others can as well!”
  3. Having a future hope helps us to do the hard work. No doubt about it, it takes hard work to change and create a new future. Having something to look forward to in the future can inspire us to work hard and pay the price for that new future. Take the summer vacation that becomes your driving force to lose weight. No matter what it is, the vision is the fuel for the journey.

The bible states in Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint. Vision for tomorrow provides power for today. Zig Ziglar used to say “Treat every day like it’s the day before vacation, and you will get more work done!” The reason that is true is because people that are getting ready to go on vacation are happy because they are looking forward to being off and being in a place that is going to be fun. The next time you have a friend or coworker that is getting ready to leave for a cruise or for a week at the beach, just ask them how they are doing?

Today you should get your calendar out and start marking some dates to look forward to. Even if you are marking dates of events that you will have to work toward or save for, just do it! Much better to fill your life with future hopes and dreams then past mistakes and current concerns. For a Christian, the future is nothing to worry about it, it is actually something to look forward to with great anticipation.

Look Forward! It will take you somewhere!

Coach Don

Keep Paddling!!!

white water

Sometimes life can become challenging! Sometimes things just come up without little or no notice at all. Sometimes life can be like a White Water Rafting Trip!

Many years ago I joined several other men on a trip to attend a Promise Keepers event in Indianapolis Indiana. On the way, we stopped in Tennessee to go White Water Rafting on the Ocoee River. I had never been before and like everyone else I was excited about doing something adventurous with some of my best friends.

The River Guide told us everything we needed to know before we entered the water. He explained how we would sit on the raft and he even gave us a detail of each section or the river and more importantly the rapids we would face together.

OcoeeMapRapids named ….Broken Nose, Flipper and Tablesaw easily cause your imagination to start seeing scenes from some Hollywood movie of people being tossed into a raging river!

The map showed all the rapids in succession, with the worst rapid at the very end. That rapid was called “Hell’s Hole”. Our guide made that one seem like some people didn’t make it out on his last trip down. Believe me he had our attention as he trained and entertained us.

The one thing I really remember that he kept saying again and again was “Whatever you do, Keep Paddling!” “When the water gets rough, don’t stop paddling or we will get sucked into the rapid and we could get turned over.”

I can still hear him saying those words even now.

If life can be like a river, where calm water can quickly become a rough series of rapids, then maybe we need to navigate life like we would navigate a challenging river? Just like that journey on the Ocoee River, when things start to get rough, that’s probably the time to paddle harder and it’s definitely the time to Keep Paddling Through. Sadly we have all seen someone who quit paddling along the way of life. The succession of rapids eventually caused them to quit and just accept was happening to them. Their stories can range from a failed marriage, a failed business to a dream career path that was eventually given up on.

I have heard it said that “Life can happen to us or we can happen to life, That you can ride the waves or the waves can ride you.” 

At the Ocoee River they name their rapids with names that describe the experience of going through them. What are the rapids we encounter on the river of life and how can do more than survive them, how can we paddle through them and master them?

  • Rapids of Delay. This set of rapids just tries to make you think it is never ever going to happen. You were hoping that the house would sell in 90 days, but now it has been two years. Will you give up on selling your current home and building that dream home one day, or will you keep the dream alive? It could be that you are dreaming of having a child one day and it’s now been 10 years with no signs of hope. Will you keep the dream alive despite the delay? Ask yourself if it’s worth it, if it’s worth the delay and if it is worth it then you must Keep Paddling despite the delay.
  • Rapids of Detour. This set of rapids takes you in a direction that you did not want to go. You were set on a career in sports but an injury ended that path and started a brand new one. You had a desire for something in life, but you were moved in another direction that seems to be taking you away from your dream, not towards it! Detours happen and they ultimately are either God’s hand directing us to a new dream that were not aware of yet, or they are a test on the way to the original dream. Either way, the best way to move forward and away from the point of the detour is to Keep Paddling. Who knows, your detour today may be saving you from a really bad decision but at the same time it actually delivers you to the dream you originally had in the first place. Just because you don’t get the dream today, doesn’t mean that you will not get it tomorrow.
  • Rapids of Discouragement. These rapids just try to wear you down over time. To get through these rapids we need to remind ourselves that they will not last forever. If we Keep Paddling, they will eventually end and the water will become like glass once again. We also need others to help us fight through and master these rapids. Like my trip on the Ocoee River, you can not go down the river alone. Like that trip, there are times that you can’t paddle and you will need someone to paddle for you. Likewise, you will need to paddle when someone else just can’t. The way we get through the Rapids of Discouragement, is to Keep Paddling and Keep Paddling With Others!

Keep Paddling

Coach Don

What if you knew that………..


What if you knew that….

  • Your best job or a new promotion was just around the corner.
  • You were finally going to be able to lose weight and get into better shape.
  • The breakthrough you have prayed for has already begun and you are about to see it take place.
  • Your about to experience joy so deep that its actually going to make you laugh out loud.
  • Your about to receive a sum money that you were never expecting or counting on.
  • You are about to find your one true love after searching for many years.

Its amazing how much time we spend imagining what will go wrong in our lives instead of what will go right. Just Imagine if we spent the same amount time imagining what will go “Right” as we do on what will go wrong. The Bible talks a lot about our thoughts and words and how they either lead us into life or death. Into the life we want to live or into the death or destruction of the life we are meant to live.

If you could imagine your future into existence what would you choose to imagine? 

Here are three things you should do to change your thinking to think about the right things.

  1. Read the Bible. God’s word is full of what God thinks about you and your future. Just read Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. God thinks great thoughts about you and you can read them everyday.
  2. Write it down. Take 10 minutes today and write down all the wonderful things you would like to become or do. Have a positive goal sheet and revisit it often. While it doesn’t mean everything on it will become reality, it does mean that your life will be heading into the right direction. Write it down and revisit it often. Make changes as goals and dreams change over time.
  3. Talk to yourself. What are you currently saying to yourself? Is it something that you would say to your best friend or to someone you really believe in and admire? You need to be your own greatest cheerleader! Do you know how you can overcome a negative thought that you can’t stop thinking about? Talk out loud to yourself! Your tongue will overrule your mind every single time. Even if it takes several times you can win this battle when you speak positive life giving words to yourself. Your mind has to listen when you speak!

Choose today to start thinking great and mighty thoughts about yourself. God does, and He is always right!

Coach Don

Patience! A powerful key to real success


In life we often look for the keys that will ultimately help us to succeed. Sometimes they are hidden and sometimes they are right before us in plain view. Things like….

  • Commitment
  • Desire
  • Consistency
  • Hard Work
  • Integrity
  • Humility

These stand out as needful and being necessary components if we are going to develop a life that is meaningful and successful. While there is no one that is perfect in obtaining all of these  virtues listed above, they clearly should be the targets we are all shooting for.

While the list stands out as items we should all work on, there are also a few that get overlooked. Many times they get overlooked simply because they don’t give us the same feeling as words like Passion, Drive and Commitment.

One of those overlooked and sometimes hidden keys is Patience. See, even now, as I even say it, it does not bring a feeling of being a true building block to providing me the ability to slay dragons and conquer worlds. While we all know that everyone really needs to work on being more patient, It may not be clear as to how patience is really a key to success?

First let’s look at what Patience really means. Patience is best described as the ability to remain calm and not become annoyed when dealing with problems or with difficult people. It can also be described as an ability to wait on something a long time without losing your cool and becoming upset.

Three reasons patience is a key to victory in life.

  1. Learning patience and becoming more patient makes us better people. We do all kinds of things to improve ourselves and make our life better. We work out, we read great books, we learn new skills and all of that helps us to develop into a better person. Did you ever think of learning to be patient as something that would greatly change your own life? In James 1:4 it states But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  What is it that happens when someone grows in the gift of patience? They become more like the one who created it in the first place, they become more like God. Can you imagine lacking nothing!  
  2. Learning patience increases your level of commitment. The world is full of people that can stay committed to something worthwhile for a few days. Growing in patience increases your ability to stay committed longer. While there are times no one should “Patiently Endure” something, there are a lot more times when a little more patience with a person or process would have yielded more desirable results than just bailing out.
  3. Learning Patience is really the key to longterm success. Many times we feel that difficult situations become more than we can bear or carry. God promises that he will never give us more than we can bear with his help. So that means in most cases when it comes to overcoming in life “It’s not about the Weight, it’s about the WAIT!  Just ask yourself this question? How many people ultimately succeeded in life because they simply would not quit. Think of people like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison and even C.S. Lewis. Each of them had a journey that was difficult but not impossible. They simply had what I like to call “Active Waiting.” The journey to eventual success was not too heavy for them to lift, but they had to have patience. It took a long time to get there. Every great journey is going to try your patience and when you succeed, you will find that your patience has actually grown more simply because it had to. Most great mountains are not conquered by the strong, but rather by the patient.

If Patience is a real key to success, then the question has to be this. How does one actually obtain and grow in the gift of patience?

  • Submit your life to God. One of the nine fruits of the Spirit is Patience. Our ability to be patient comes from God Himself.
  • View things from another person’s point of view. You will have more patience for people when you take this view.
  • Work to eliminate hurry from your life. Jesus was busy but he was never in a hurry. Many times our lack of patience comes from the busyness of our generation. Take time to think of nothing at all.
  • Allow Trials to be your Teachers! In Romans 5:3, The Message, the passage states– “There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!”

May we all grow in Patience

Coach Don

Are You A Stalled Dreamer? How you can overcome the trap of unfinished goals!


Have you ever planned out your week by setting goals to eventually see those goals stall out or get derailed? If that sounds familiar to you then you may be part of the group that I like to call Stalled Dreamers”. To be fully honest with you, I find myself in that group more often then I would like to be.

Many times It just seems that I start each month or week out with a list of clearly written goals that looks somewhat like a list of directions on how to bake a boxed cake mix. They seem simple, clear and obtainable but somewhere I find my goals end up as a half baked cake that is missing some key ingredients. On paper it should work but something gets missed or left out along the way.

The difficulty with setting and missing goals over and over again is that you can get “Goal Fatigued”. When your journal or notepad starts looking like the same list repeated over and over again with little result you can get discouraged. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we should resign from goal setting just because we have failed or fallen short of meeting our own expectations. I just think there might be a better way of seeing our goals become reality.

To really understand what is happening to our well planned goals and why they may stall out, let’s look at the places most goal setters fail.

  1. They Set Too Many Goals. Have you ever listed everything you currently wanted to change or do in your life, to only find in the end that you made very little progress except for the list? This is common for most goal setters as they have to learn which goal or goals they should concentrate on first. They miss the power of finishing one goal and that slowly eats away at the excitement of making progress. I am really bad at this that as I find myself trying to do too many things at once. In fact I am trying to read two or three books at this very moment. If you add to that the issue that when I get bored with one goal, then I am going to bounce to another goal. The more I bounce, the less I finish.
  2. Their Goals Are Too Big. You have done it again, you have gone and set your sights on the goal of trying to climb Mt Everest once again. The last time you set this goal you spent hours researching it and even marked a date on your calendar. All that work just to wake up to the knowledge that you didn’t do it. But this time will be different! You are inspired and ready to focus one of the biggest things on your lifelong bucket list. While that is probably not you, are their goals you have set that are just a little extreme or hard? The problem that we all have in goal setting is that we want to set the goal on what inspires us the most. We do that when many times what we need to do is set simpler goals that can ultimately move us closer to those bigger goals. Everyone started working out after the movie “Rocky” came out in the Seventies, but only a few continued to live the dream of being in the shape that Rocky Balboa was in. Have the big goals in mind, but plan with smaller goals that will move you closer and closer to where you want to be. “Momentum is built by one small movement repeated over and over again”. Also “Little wins can really add up into big victories”. 
  3. Their Goals Get Interrupted. Simply put this is what derails most of my personal goal setting ventures. Life is going to happen and what we do when life happens will really determine what we will eventually do with the plan we’ve made. The car breaks down and the next thing you know you have missed a week of workouts. You get the flu and now it’s been two weeks since you worked on writing your book. Clearly you must give room for the interruptions that are unavoidable and for those that really matter, like going to your daughter’s dance recital. But there are those interruptions, like looking at facebook every ten minutes or surfing the internet, that are not always necessary. You must decide which ones count and which ones don’t. Lastly if you want to get to your goal despite the interruptions you can’t or don’t want to avoid, then you must do something! Even if you only workout at home for fifteen minutes or write for only ten minutes in your book, the action will keep you from stalling out.

Happy Goal Setting

Coach Don Newman