PhotobucketNew Year’s DreamsWhen “The tumult and the shouting dies/ the Captains and the Kings depart,” (Rudyard Kipling) there is a lull, a time to reflect, reevaluate and plan ahead.

As a writer of romantic suspense, travel sagas and motivational essays, I turn away from the holiday insanity and make goals. Not resolutions. Resolutions are easily lost in the minutiae of real life. Setting goals gives us wiggle room to get there within a loose framework of uninterrupted time. We all have interruptions, unexpected events and reversals of fortune. I spent a lifetime, fifty plus years, putting serious committed writing on the back burner and simply living. The fortuitous outcome of that is that now I have something to write about. The disadvantage is I missed many opportunities to be published.

Just getting published should never be one’s goal. Creating a good product, a clear voice, an interesting and entertaining message, an experience for the reader, even dropping in a little wisdom or showing readers a different perspective is something a writer can be proud of.

We want to leave behind books that people reread and enjoy, finding little nuggets to incorporate into their own lives. Show don’t tell works for both fiction and motivational nonfiction. It’s like a transfusion or a graft adding to readers’ experiences.

Make a list of books you’ve read more than once. Those written in haste with the metronome of an editor or an agent marching up the author’s heels are not among them. The keepers are those that were written with forethought, life experience and a love for language. From historical fiction to metaphoric fantasy, these meaningful books contain a message pertinent to readers’ real lives.

Here is my list: Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe; Kon Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl; Tales of the South Pacific, James A. Michener; Into Thin Air, by Jonathan Krakauer; Alice Through the Looking Glass, the second Alice book, by Lewis Carroll; The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion; A Turn of Mind, by Alice Laplante, The Chemistry of Tears, by Peter Carey, and a few others I’m rediscovering.

Think about your favorite “old friends” and make it your goal to write something memorable.

Leave a comment to win a copy of Medium Rare.

About the Author: Julie Eberhart Painter, a Pennsylvania transplant now living in Central Florida, is the Champagne Books author of Mortal Coil, Tangled Web, and the 2011 Book of the Year, Kill Fee. The sequel, Medium Rare released December 3, 2012. And, Daughters of the Sea, a paranormal coming Jan 25, 2013 from MuseItUp Publishing.

Visit Julie’s Web site at

Twitter: @JulieEPainter


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