LIVE webchat for

Last week – those purveyors of fine spoken-word audio entertainment – asked me if I’d like to join them for a LIVE facebook web-chat (how very 21st Century)! It doesn’t take a lot to get me on facebook these days. Never has there been a better way to while away that precious writing time whilst convincing yourself you’re doing something productive. Needless to say I jumped at the chance. Here’s how the conversation went down.

Keep scrolling all the way to the bottom to find out how you can get my audio book for FREE!

Peter Jones MORNING!!
Jamie Anderson Morning Peter! What’s been the most surprising response to your book so far? Has anyone been really negative? Or has anyone claimed that you’ve saved their life?
Peter Jones Morning Jamie, nice to see you around these parts. Get you with the challenging questions right out of the box. Let me answer each one in turn
Peter Jones Most surprising: I never cease to be blown away by the lovely comments I get from readers. I have one lady quit her job! I was like, “what? No! Don’t do that! Are you bonkers!?” …fortunately I never said that, and as far as I know she’s doing really well.
Peter Jones Then there was the reader from Texas who’d been made redundant, along with her husband, and was at an all time low. My book came along at just the right time and since then she’s written a book on teaching spanish to kids.
Peter Jones And the sheer number of people who now have a regular Boxing Day is just amazing.
Peter Jones In terms of negative comments; not really. The odd duff review, but really 99.9% of the comments I get have been so positive. I did get some useful feedback from the first edition of the book which I used to enhance the second (which is the one audible has)
Jamie Anderson Thanks Peter! Loved the book, and I too enjoy the occasional Boxing Day (working on having them more often!)
Peter Jones How often do you have a Boxing Day Jamie?
Peter Jones And do they work for you?
Jamie Anderson At the moment; once every 3 or 4 weeks. Aiming for once a fortnight. And yes they do work for me, very well! Very refreshing and a great escape from, what I call “oughtism” (I ought to do this, I ought to do that)
Della Galton Sorry to butt in but is it OK to have a Boxing Day couple of hours if you can’t fit a whole Boxing Day in?
Peter Jones “Oughtism”. I love that.  I tried having them once a fortnight but that didn’t work for me. They started getting a little dull, but I think it depends on the sort of person you are. Once a month seems just about right for me.
Peter Jones Della Galton, how lovely to see you… actually I know of a couple of readers who do exactly that. Busy mums mainly. They take the morning off and go to a favourite coffee shop with a book or something.
Della Galton Excellent news. Probably applies to a lot of self employed people too. I have trouble justifying the idea of having a whole day off to do what I like. But a couple of hours or a morning sounds great.
Peter Jones I know what you mean, but remember this. You can WORK on a Boxing Day if you really want to. Just make sure it’s unplanned and what you REALLY want to do. The key is to break away from the oughtism thatJamie talks about (Jamie, I am so using that phrase in the next edition of the book – if there ever is one)
Della Galton I am off to do a spot of work – but will pop back later and interrupt some more. I have a rather full diary today. I didn’t have a diary before I read your book, so this is entirely your fault
Peter Jones Thanks Michelle. Glad you’re enjoying it. How far have you got? Boxing Day? Now Lists? Wish Lists?
Stacy Patton Anderson Hi Peter. I’m afraid if I have a Boxing Day I’ll just end up sitting around in my pajamas. Do you have tips for making the most of them?
Peter Jones Hi Stacy (hang on a tick – you wouldn’t be related to Jamie Anderson would you?) – I know exactly what you mean because that’s what started happening to me! About a year into regular Boxing Days they started to lose their magical powers. Then a reader (hello Emma) emailed me and told me she’d ‘fixed’ Boxing Day by creating a ‘potential Boxing Day activity’ list. Like other lists mentioned in the book it’s a work in progress, and you add to it ideas that you could, possibly, do, on a Boxing Day, if you felt like it. Wanna see mine?
Peter Jones Sounds like it’s going well Michelle – good for you. Hand your husband the book. I’ve noticed that husbands tend to resist until they’ve read the book. Perhaps they need to know another bloke came up with the idea. I’m just saying.
Stacy Patton Anderson Peter Jones Absolutely. Let’s see it.
Peter Jones Ok.. this is a cut and paste so it might be a bit ugly.

Make Chocolate Brownies
look at breadmaker recipes
Try wendy’s flapjack recipe – Dairy free butter, demerara sugar, tiny bit soft brown, syrup, ginger n oats 

Play Space Quest – find it, and install it
put games back on the blog? As easter eggs

the play

– visit the plantarium in southend
– visit other places

Great food.
Cj behaving like a kitten.
Growing my own food.
Good movies.
Good wine.
The sound of the sea.
Good, easy going, pub night’s out with mates.
Flap jacks.
The Theatre.
Great music.
Audio books.
Writing something i suspect is awesome and then finding out it is.
Being surrounded by trees.
Expresso coffee.
Feeling wealthy.
Close friends.
Creative people.
Being warm.
Getting loads done.
Feeling young.
Peace and quiet.
A really amazing night’s sleep.
Peter Jones Ooo look. Audio books is on that list!!
Spike Green Morning Peter, How did you overcome the hurdle of getting publlished, with so may other self help books vying for your spot?
Peter Jones Morning Spike! Good question. I got published by accident. I never intended to write a self-help book, at the suggestion of a friend I started writing down some of the ideas I’d come up with to get my life back on track after the loss of my wife. Eventually, when I’d finished writing, I realised I had a book. I couldn’t face shopping it around to publishers and agents (as I’d been doing with my novel) so I self-published it thinking no one would ever read it. How wrong I was. When it reached 10,000 sales the lovely lovely people at Audible got in contact. They offered me a threebook deal. That got the attention of my agent. My agent got the attention of Harper Collins.
Alison Neale Hi Peter – love your book and love the idea of Boxing Days. In fact, I have one planned for next week, after I’ve finished two huge work projects. I reckon I’ll need tohe rest! But I don’t feel guilty at all if I spend all day sitting round in pyjamas – if that’s what I REALLY want to do at the time, why not do it?
Peter Jones Couldn’t agree more Alison. My thoughts are if you want to laze around, laze around, but do it in style. Get some chocolates, take a blanket to the lounge, and start working through a box set of your favourite TV drama.
Alison Neale I might just do that next week …I got the box set of the entire series of The Mysterious Cities of Gold so I might watch that next week. or I might not. Depends how I feel at the time
Peter Jones (Whilst I think of it Spike – I did make a couple of futile attempts at pitching the book to an agent. The first said that ‘Self Help’ isn’t selling. She’s kicking herself now. The second thought I was doing just fine going down the self-publishing route)
Peter Jones ‘The Mysterious Cities of Gold’ – haven’t heard of that. Oi! Alison, no planning!! But you can add it to your ‘potential Boxing Day’ list
Alison Neale LOL it’s a Japanese-French cartoon series set in South America from the 1980s!!
Peter Jones Wow! Niche!!
Katja Reister Morning Peter. Loved your book. It’s really accessible. Are you working on anything else at the moment?
Jo Cross Hi Peter, Well done for the book. I must admit I haven’t read it but judging by these comments I think I must really soon as I am really intrigued by this Boxing Day concept.
Peter Jones Well funny you should mention that Katja  I am working on How To Survive Online Dating.. and almost ready to go is How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim. Both titles will be available from audible at some point in the not too distant future.
Sarah Weston Hi Peter Jones. How long did it take you to record your book for audible? Did you enjoy the process and were there any funny outtakes?
Peter Jones How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim is jointly written with the lovely-as-she-is-slender Della Galton(who’s a far more accomplished author than I)
Peter Jones Sarah! There you are! Give me a sec, I’ve just got to answer Jo first…
Peter Jones That really is a terrible photo. I was suffering from man-flu at the time. ANYWAY, where was I.. oh yeah.. Sarah..
Peter Jones It took me a day and a half. It was a terrifying experience, and very exciting at the same time. In fact, I think you can tell how excited I am by listening to the first chapter because the pitch of my voice is ever so higher than it normally is – but no one else seems to think so.
Peter Jones The outtakes would easily make up another audio book, but they’re really not that funny unless you enjoy listening to a man trip over his words.
Peter Jones The process of recording the book is really interesting. I sat in a room on my own, downstairs another guy listens to what I’m saying and marks any mistakes, occasionally asking me to go back and re-do bits, and in yet another room another guy stitches it all together. It’s like a production line. Within an hour of me reading the last line the book is effectively done!
Lisa Cherry Hi Peter….Just came over to say hi!
Peter Jones Hey Lisa. How’s tricks?
Lisa Cherry It’s all good….busy writing like yourself :0) I’ve heard wonderful things about you from Alison Neale
Vikki Cooper Hi Peter- just to say hi- the Happy Board has been a revelation in our house- kids love it!
Nicolette Smith Hi Peter, I must admit I haven’t got your book yet. Still going through The Secret and just finished The 7 Habits, am also listening to Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Are any of your tips based on similar publications?
January 24 at 10:34am via mobile · Like
Vikki Thompson Hi Peter :o) I love Boxing Days, and have roped The Hubster in. They’re now called PJ days, which initially stood for Pyjamas AND now..Peter Jones Days ;o) x
Vikki Cooper @alison Is that the cartoon that was on bbc when Phil Schofield was in the broom cupboard?
Peter Jones Hope the writing’s going well Lisa. That Alison Neale, she’s a one

Peter Jones I’m glad to hear it Vikki. You out to take a picture and send it to me so I can add it to the others on the facebook page.
Trophy Board may me 2013

Trophy Boards sent in from you lot. Don’t be shy now. Let’s get everyone doing it.

Peter Jones Hi Nicolette, thanks for stopping by. I haven’t read the 7 habits, but I read Rich Dad Poor Dad many years ago (listened actually). Though some of my ideas you will have definitely heard before (Goals, Now Lists – for instance) they do have my own spin on them. Other elements, such as Boxing Day, and the Trophy Board, I’m reasonably certain are my own invention – as much as any idea can be.
Peter Jones As to how I self-published, I downloaded the smashwords style guide, and read amazon’s help pages. But there are countless good books on the subject now.
Peter Jones Hey Vikki, I didn’t see you sneak in. PJ days eh? I like it!!!
Peter Jones (If there’s anyone else I almost missed give me a poke in the ribs)
David Kendrick Hi Peter, I loved the book. No nonsense sound advice and it felt like a friend guiding you along and waiting patiently if you stumbled. I have always had a boxing day though I never called it that. What I took most from the book was to be organised. I now keep a diary and am less stressed because I’m more organised.
Vikki Thompson I just slipped in, all casual like ;o) I haven’t got anywhere to put a Happy Board so I use a scrapbook x
Jo Cross Thank you Peter for the link. Really inspiring blog post. Now a lovely new audible listen for later.
Peter Jones Glad to hear it Mr Kendrick. You’d be stunned how many people haven’t got a diary. In fact, let’s do a poll! Who here has a diary and uses it (I’m talking appointment diary not a journal you ponder the meaning of life in)
Nicolette Smith Thanks, Peter. I like the idea of Boxing Days, but I need the reverse… Get off my sofa, switch off telly and stop picking up my iPhone to see what the world is saying on Facebook and start doing some work around the house and in my office before my energy runs out!
Peter Jones A scrap book is a great idea Vikki. I have one reader who uses pinterest (is that right?)
Peter Jones Really hope you enjoy it Jo.
David Kendrick One question if it hasn’t been asked already. What and who inspires you?
Vikki Thompson Ooooo, that’s a great idea, Pinterest….and I have 3 diaries (inc a wall calendar) lol x
Peter Jones Crikey! Dave – hmmmm – well David Allen, author of Getting Things Done is a fascinating chap. And I really like the cut of Professor Richard Wiseman’s jib. Stephen Moffat, Richard Curtis, Imogen Heap are all idols of mine.
Madalyn Morgan Hi Peter. As you know I too loved the book. I bought it a while ago on Kindle. I would have bought the paperback yesterday in Balham, but they only had one copy left. I agree with one of you earlier friends who mentioned audio book. To do an audio book for a charity for the blind would be great. Good for you and good for them. I used to read Newspapers for the blind when I lived in Balham. They really appreciated it. Just a thought. Have a wonderful morning. xxx
Peter Jones I know what you mean Nicolette. I actually did what you’re suggesting and created other ‘days’ to tackle things I kept putting off, like my quarterly accounts, or promotion
Peter Jones (More details at the end of the book)
Joe Van-Wyk Hi Peter. Trish and I try to have a Boxing day as often as we can, it’s always the little things that count, this morning I made Trish boiled eggs with toast spoons to have in bed. I think pj days would be a great idea though.
Katja Reister Hello again. Really interesting to read about your experience narrated your book for the audio edition. Would it feel weird to you if someone else had narrated it? And will you be narrating the new books? I’m intrigued to read your book on online dating. Or rather listen to it

Peter Jones Hi Madalyn! Yes, thanks for your picture this morning – free badge for you if you send me your address (and that goes to anyone who can show me that they’ve bought the audio book)

thebadge smiley

Post pictures of you holding HOW TO DO EVERYTHING AND BE HAPPY and I’ll send you a FREE BADGE (woo hoo!)

David Kendrick Thanks Peter. Another question. As you know I am a writer, and we are insecure beasts always doubting what we produce. How do you beat your demons and what drives you on when the writing is just not working for some reason?
Peter Jones I was extremely keen to make the book available on audio – we’ve always been keen on audio books in my family. Talking books my Mum calls them.
Peter Jones Hi Joe. Trish is clearly a very lucky lady.
Peter Jones Hi Katja – I think I would find it weird if someone else narrated my book, but on the other hand I sometimes pick books I’m going to listen to based on the voice actor so I’m pretty sure whoever audible picked would do a superb job. That said I fully intend to narrate the next two… if audible let me  You’re going to love the online dating book – I’m having such fun writing it and it’s PACKED with tips.
Jamie Anderson Peter – I think that your book is so good because, to me it seems to help people nourish their spirits and work on their happiness by improving the “present” qualities in their lives. So many other self-help books aim to change the person and the way they think or behave by much more pseudoscientific methods. Did you specifically aim for a more direct approach? And if so, is it really because you’d got fed up with Anthony Robbins etc?
Samantha Eagle Hi. I look forward to hearing so much of what you do. Will be in Southend tonight. Is there anything that you suggest is the initial point to start to be able to get going from today or tomorrow morning? Bags of enthusiasm is already packed.
Della Galton I have a diary – for your poll.
Chris Read Hi Peter… Did you get any actorly like training before narrating the audiobook – Or did they just give you a chair and a microphone?
Peter Jones LOL! Don’t knock our Tony Robbins too much – I’ve listened to those CDs, and I got a lot from them. But yes, my book is a little more hands on. That wasn’t necessarily intentional because – as I’ve said – I didn’t set out to write a book. It’s more a reflection on how I am. I can only do naval gazing for so long. I’m a ‘problem solver’ by nature. Banks would never have paid me if I hadn’t of provided them with solutions.
Chris Read OHo, and what, exactly, do you have on your head?)
Vikki Thompson Have you still got that note in your wallet Peter and what does it say again? Or do you change it? X
Vikki Cooper Peter have you got any plans to develop an app to go along with the book? Would be great to have something to put on my iPad or phone that brings all the idea together in one place–it would be fab
Peter Jones Crikey, I’ve got questions from Dave, Della, Chris, and Vikki … hold on guys…
Peter Jones David – How to beat your writing demons (ooohhh, hang on, that sounds like a great title for a book – hand off you lot I saw it first), ANYWAY… the solution to this I’ve found is to do it for a living. It doesn’t take away the fear, in fact it makes it ten times worse, but boy howdy is it motivating!!
Vikki Thompson Oh, an App would be brilliant Vikki C what a great idea! :o) x
Vikki Cooper Thanks Vikki T

Peter Jones Samantha! Where did you come from? Fabulous to hear you’re coming to the workshop tonight! Bring a friend! Bring two! No preparation needed other than the enthusiasm you’ve already got.

If anyone else is in Essex this evening, pop along to Happy Club. Twelve quid. Let’s kick start 2013 together (no need to have read the book first).

David Kendrick Thanks Peter. I do also but engineering technical literature isn’t half as much fun as fiction. I am not allowed to kill anyone in non-fiction. Good luck with the Audio book.

Chris Read

Apparently bow ties and fezzes are cool 😀 This is from the season finale of Doc…See More
Chris Read (My secod question inspired by this clip)
Peter Jones Chris! Hi! How are ya!? No, audible didn’t give me any training, however I did have to audition for the part!! Fortunately I got it. Truth is I’ve worked with a professional theatre company (The Third Edge Theatre Company) for many years now. We perform four times a year at Hylands House in Chelmsford. But it’s amazing how different being sat in a room with a microphone is to being on stage or MCing a murder mystery evening.
Alison Neale Vikki C – yes, it would have been in the Schofield days!
Chris Read Thanks Peter… I’ve always been of the view that should I (when I?) get published, I’d rather have a trained actor do any audio reading of my work.
Peter Jones Yes Vikki, I still have that ‘note’. It’s my number one goal for the year. At the moment it reads as follows… 
“I am supporting myself doing things I love and enjoy. Dec 2013”
Peter Jones Chris – that’s my genie hat. I am the wish genie.
Peter Jones What are your three wishes?
Peter Jones (Genie’s are cool)
Peter Jones When did Vikki C mention an app? Anyway, I do have an idea for an app, and I’m having discussions with HarperCollins UK about it.
Vikki Cooper Great news/ about the app
Peter Jones Phew! All caught up. anyone mind if I get a quick cuppa for the last hour??
Peter Jones (too late. brb)
Chris Read Hey, who forgot the cuffs? Wasn’t PJ meant to be handcuffed to his PC for this session?
Vikki Thompson Oooooo, exciting! :o) x
Peter Jones And welcome back to ‘a morning with PJ’…
Peter Jones I keep having to reload too Chris. Not sure why. Just one of those things. But anyway…
Peter Jones More news about the app when I have it Vikki C
Peter Jones And tea really isn’t that exciting Vikki
Della Galton I think you might have to stay on longer than 12.30
Vikki Thompson So what advice would you give to us busy mums Peter who seem to be at everyone’s beck and call and don’t get 5 minutes to ourselves? X
Peter Jones You talking about Boxing Day Vikki? Preparation is key. You can’t plan Boxing Day, but you should prepare for it. Off load the kids onto someone else, or take yourself away. Boxing Day won’t work if you just stand at the top of the stairs and shout “I’M HAVING A BOXING DAY” to the rest of the household, but it might if you prepare in advance. (That was something new I had to add to the second edition – I had a whole load of questions from Mums along the same lines)
Vikki Thompson I will try that, thanks :o) x
Vikki Thompson Is there anything I need to bring tonight for Happy Club? Pen? Notebook? X

Peter Jones No preparation needed other than the enthusiasm you’ve already got, Vikki. Looking forward to seeing you.

If anyone else is in Essex this evening, pop along to Happy Club. Twelve quid. Let’s kick start 2013 together (no need to have read the book first).

Peter Jones So here’s a question I want to ask you lot (especially if you haven’t already posted a comment)…
Samantha Eagle Looking forward to it. I’m off now so will see you both later and anyone else who reads this and is coming
Peter Jones Taking no more than thirty seconds, name three things that you’ve done in the last 24 hours that weren’t work related. (Work includes ‘work’ but also anything you HAVE to do – pick up the kids, do the ironing, open the post etc). GO!!
Peter Jones Time’s up. What were they?
Vikki Thompson Ok, ta :o) Now I really must go :o( Have downloaded the audio version and have subjected my cats to the first chapter….I hope it works on them too! Have a great day guys…see you later at Happy ClubPeter xx
Peter Jones (NB: This book may not work for cats)
Vikki Thompson Lol, I’ll let you know ;o) x
Peter Jones This just in from twitter: “@doitallbehappy loved your interview on BBC World OUTLOOK the other night – my husband told me to listen – you may have changed his life ” Stuff like that blows my mind
Katja Reister in answer to your question about 3 non-work related things: gym, dentist and sleep
Katja Reister and i was struggling to come up with a third one – that’s kind of worrying!
Peter Jones Hmmmm. I thought so. Most people have; eat, sleep, watch tv
Peter Jones It is worrying! But, Ms Reister, if you love your job then it’s probably ok.
Katja Reister it’s all about balance isn’t it….
Peter Jones Lousy Work Life Balance is one of my three causes of Unhappiness mentioned in the book. The other two being Lack Of Control and External Forces.
Vikki Cooper Played netball/ watched tv / played barbies with the girls
Peter Jones That’s pretty good Vikki C. Good for you
Vikki Cooper You inspired me to get back to netball and I joined a team. The barbies were forced on me/ but actually enjoyed it / my 5 year old got us to pretend they had all gone to the pub!!!
Peter Jones Cool! And are you enjoying the netball?
Vikki Cooper Love it- and it’s great fun–had been on my to do list since I was about 25 years old/ am now 38 and wishing I had done it sooner
Peter Jones And that’s the secret isn’t it – start today doing all the things you keep putting off! No matter how small they are. No matter how much you tell yourself you don’t have the time, or something else is more important.
Peter Jones Right you lot, I dunno about you but I’m STARVING! I didn’t write How To Eat Loads and Stay Slimfor no reason. I’m off to get some lunch but feel free to post any questions you may have and I’ll check back at various points over the next few days. Thanks for the chat! 

Peter Thanks, Peter!

The unabridged audio version of How To Do Everything and Be Happy is available from audible ( | .com), an amazon company and the internet’s largest supplier of spoken word entertainment.

If you’re not already a UK audible customer, why not download the book for FREE by signing up for a trial membership.

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