Peter Jones – Author & Public Speaker

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Happy Club – this Thursday!

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Happy New Year!

So how’s it going so far? Is it all lovely and exciting? Or is it pretty much like last year? Perhaps even a little bit dull? Would you say that, aside from joining hands with friends and family on the stroke of midnight and mumbling the words to a song you only sing once a year, it’s actually quite difficult to know where 2012 came to an end, and 2013 began?

I know how you feel.

Which is why, in a few days time, I will be hosting the first of this years Happy Clubs, here in Southend-on-Sea.

Happy Club – starts Thursday 24th January 2013

If you’re a long time visitor to this blog you’ll know that this year I’ve run numerous How To Do Everything And Be Happy workshops in various parts of Essex.

I think it’s safe to say that the workshops went down a storm, and I’m delighted to announce that using the invaluable feedback I received, Southend’s Therapy Life Centre and I will be running a series of monthly Happiness workshops – starting next Thursday, on the 24th January – to coincide with the recent re-launch of the paperback.

What’s covered?

Each month we’ll spend the first hour looking at a different idea from the book How To Do Everything and Be Happy and how to implement it into your life, whether that be Boxing Day, Wish List, Now Lists, Focus, Trophy Boards, or Diaries. Then after a short tea-break (biscuits provided – probably, if I remember) we’re back, looking at your Goals, how far you’ve got with them and how you can take the next step towards achieving them.

This Thursday we’ll be concentrating on how to eliminate unhappiness, and working out exactly what we want for the coming months. It’ll be fun! I can definitely promise you that. But I have a feeling it’s also going to be the start of something special.

Is it a workshop? Or a course? It’s a “club”.

Technically it’s a series of six stand-alone, related, repeating, workshops (when we get to workshop number six we’ll start afresh the following month). You can come along to just one, a series of six, or every month, it’s totally your choice.

The evening will have more of a club-feel to it making the whole experience less “rushed”, more intensive, and introducing a strong focus on helping you achieve your goals as the months roll by.

It’s a fun way to get motivated and fired up about making changes in your life, whilst being practical, realistic and keeping your feet firmly on the floor.

How much does it cost?

The cost is just £60 for six sessions (if you pay in advance – see below), or £12 per session if you pay on the night.

Where and when?

The club starts on January 24th 2013
Subsequent clubs are on the last Thursday of each month and last two hours (including a ten minute break around half time).
We start promptly at 8pm (so maybe get there about 7:45? Put that in your diary).

We meet at The Therapy Life Centre, in Southend On Sea, Essex. (the old driving test centre) – there is reasonable parking.
The address is 11 Prittlewell Chase, Southend-on-Sea, SS0 0RX
The nearest station is Prittlewell (just fifteen minutes walk away) which is on the Liverpool Street – Southend Victoria line.

Map

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Sign Up and Pay!

The cost is just £60 for six sessions (if you pay in advance), or £12 per session if you pay on the night.

There are three ways to pay in advance

  1. In person at the Therapy Life Centre. Click here for opening hours. 
  2. Over the phone with a credit or debit card. Call 01702 433959. Click here for opening hours. 
  3. Pay here via credit / debit card and/or paypal!

Refunds & General Terms

  • Workshop credits can be carried forward – you do not have to attend six concurrent workshops
  • If you wish to transfer your credits to another person please let us know first
  • Payments via the internet will appear as “soundhaven” on your statement
  • Refunds will not be issued at a workshop and must be requested in the manner the original payment was made (ie. in person, over the phone, or via this website)
  • We reserve the right to charge a £2 admin fee to cover the cost of processing refunds
  • In the event that you cannot make six workshops we reserve the right to retain £12 per workshop you’ve attended, and refund the balance
  • We require five working days notice (via the contact form on this website) process a paypal refund

Any questions?

Drop me a line via the contact page if you have any questions. Operators are standing by.


Visit the Therapy Life Centre’s website
More about the Therapy Life Centre

Larking Around

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A few months ago I was asked to give a talk as part of the Essex Book Festival. It wasn’t my first talk, but it was quite a significant milestone in my career as an author, and the first time I realised that talking about writing was almost as much fun as doing so, and significantly less effort. You turn up, smile a lot, tell the audience a little about yourself, maybe read an extract, and then ask for questions. If nobody says anything we can all go home early. Job done. But that never happens.

I’ve been asked some pretty interesting questions over the past few months.
Here are a few off the top of my head:

How long did your book take you to write? (Six months)
What do you think your wife would make of it? (I think she’d like it.)
Are you happy now? (Yes. Happier than I’ve ever been.)
Are you still working in Credit Card Banking? (No.)
Were you the first choice to read the audio version of your book? (No – I had to audition for the part)
Have you got any other books coming out? (Oh yes.)
Have you met ever the real Peter Jones? (Hang on – am I somehow not real?)

There was one Gentleman at the EBF gig who asked if I was like other authors he’d heard of, and rise each morning at 4am to write – to which I laughed and said that was a ridiculous notion, and I didn’t get out of bed a minute before five.

That was back in March. Four months later and I’m astonished to report that I am indeed getting out of bed at 4am on a regular basis, and sitting at my desk, working, a few minutes later.

I have to say I’m a little perplexed as to why this should be the case. Initially I thought it was something to do with the sun rising around that time – but this morning it was so overcast and dark, it might as well of been October. Then I thought it might be my cat wanting me to let her out, but since I’ve relented and reintroduced the cat litter tray my dawn door opening duties are now surplus to requirements. It was only whilst I exchanged emails and text messages with fellow authors Della Galton, Wendy Steele and David Kendrick – all at around six this morning – did I realise that it might actually be something to do with the job. Authors it seems, are larks rather than owls.

Now why on earth would this be the case?
Is it that we love the work so much we can’t wait to get started?
Are you kidding me!? There have been times recently when working on my current book has felt like trying to wrestle an octopus into a paperbag!
Is it that it’s the only time of day when we won’t be disturbed?
Maybe – though the internet never sleeps and facebook is only a click away.
Is it that our brains are so chock full of exciting ideas that they wake us up in the morning so that we can write them all down?
Unlikely. In my case my brain is probably so sick of dreaming about formatting errors and kindle sales that it’s waking me up in the hopes I’ll do something more interesting!
The truth is I have no idea why my body clock seems to have shifted. All I know is that daft-O’clock in the morning now feels right somehow, and if I happen to lie in till seven or eight, half the day has gone!

But perhaps myself, Dave, Della, Wendy, and the unknown authors that the Gentleman from the EBF knows about, are in the minority. Perhaps it’s nothing to do with being an author. I’d love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, it’s 2pm – time to call it a day!

Essex Book Festival (Come and meet me at Debden Library,13th March 2012, 7pm)

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Oi! Pay attention!
This post has been ‘archived’  because things have moved on quite a bit since I wrote it.

To read something a tad more current, click here 

It’s that time of year again – the run up to the annual Essex Book Festival; a month and a bit chock full of book related events featuring authors from all over the country at numerous venues in and around the county.

I’ve been to a number of events over the years, last year I went to see Sara Paretsky, and David Baddiel – both excellent – but this year will be especially interesting because at one event,n Tuesday the 13th March, I won’t be amongst the audience – I’ll be the one at the front!

Yes, you heard it here first, I’m one of the authors in this years festival talking about How To Do Everything and Be Happy. What better way to celebrate over 5,000 sales?

I’ll be honest with you, this feels a little weird. I’m still shocked when someone emails me to tell me they’ve read the book, or when I discover another review on amazon. A part of me is utterly convinced that the only people at Debden Libray on the 13th of March will be me, the head librarian, and some poor soul who’s been coerced into doing the refreshments. This being the case I’d like to extend a warm and very genuine (some might say slightly desperate) invitation to come along – it really would be absolutely lovely to see you. And your friend. If you can’t do it for me, do it for the tea lady.

The way these things normally work is the author chats for a bit, then answers questions. This being the case let me just say that I’d be happy to answer anything – whether that be about the ideas in the book, writing & publishing, or my love of flapjacks. If you’ve read the book bring it along and I’ll scribble in the front for you. If you haven’t read the book, come anyway, there’ll be copies to buy on the night and did I mention there would be refreshments?

Title: Peter Jones talks about his book How to do Everything and Be Happy
Part of:
Essex Book Festival
When: 7pm, Tues 13th March 2012
Venue: Debden Library, c/o Epping Forest College, Borders Lane, Loughton, IG10 3SA
(click here for a map)
Tickets: £4, or £3 for concessions (under 18s, full-time students, registered unemployed and older people in receipt of state benefits)

HOW TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS

Bookings can be made through the Mercury Theatre Box Office on 01206 573948 which is open Monday to Saturday 10am -8pm.

There are no booking charges made by the Mercury although there will be a charge for postage of £1 unless tickets are collected from the Mercury Theatre.

Please advise the Box Office if you have any access requirements when making a booking. Visitors with a disability are offered a free ticket for a companion. If you require a BLS interpreter, please advise the Box Office.
Refunds – The Festival cannot refund money or exchange tickets except if an event is cancelled, in which case return your tickets to the Box Office within 30 days for a full refund.

If you have a query about access or a general enquiry about the event please email hello@essexbookfestival.org.uk or ring 01245 347456.


The world of public speaking – UPDATE

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Oi! Pay attention!
This post has been ‘archived’  because things have moved on quite a bit since I wrote it.

To read something a tad more current, click here 

So, following the rip-roaring success of my first How To Do Everything and Be Happy workshop (back in November), there’s been no stopping me.

Monday I went and gave the same workshop to a fab group of Mum’s (Hello Jensine & pals!) who made me feel very welcome. Next month I’m speaking at a discussion group in Chelmsford. You already know that I’m one of the authors taking part in the Essex Book Festival (March 2012), and later this year I’m one of the tutors at Swanwick’s Summer Writer’s School (more on that nearer the time).

I’m also pleased to announce that I’m doing another Workshop on the 23rd February, with a follow up event on the 22nd March at the Therapy Life Centre here in sunny Southend-on-Sea, just a few doors down from Southend General Hospital.

So – I hear you ask – what exactly happens at these workshops?

Well, on the 23rd Feb we’ll briefly cover the three causes of unhappiness, make ourselves feel better by identifying and blaming the culprits, then move right along for an evening of brainstorming and happiness planning.

On the 22nd of March we’ll briefly re-cap the previous workshop, find out how you’ve got along and tackle any problems you may have encountered. We’ll also discuss the power of Boxing Day, and set about creating a Now List.

If this sounds like your bag then why not come along. Tickets are only a tenner (£18 for both events). To book simply call the Therapy Life Centre direct on 01702 433959 or via credit card over on the How To Do Everything and Be Happy blog.

In the meantime if you’d like to book me to talk at your group or society feel free to get in touch. You can find out more on the Talks and Workshop page.

UPDATE – Entering the world of 'Public Speaking'

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Oi! Pay attention!
This post has been ‘archived’  because things have moved on quite a bit since I wrote it.

To read something a tad more current, click here 

It’s been just over a year since I first put finger to keyboard to write How To Do Everything and Be Happy, and this week (some 3,000 book sales later), I was pleased to announce the first How To Do Everything and Be Happy workshop, taking place THIS THURSDAY (24th November 2011), here in sunny Southend-on-Sea, just a few doors down from Southend General Hospital at the newly opened Therapy Life Centre. There are only a few places left!

I’m no stranger to standing in front of an audience. For years I’ve been an occasional actor and MC for Third Edge Theatre Company’s Murder Mystery evenings at Hylands House, in Chelmsford, and when I was working in banking much of my time was spent running training sessions. But this feels different. If I’m honest, it’s a little scary.

If you’re a big-reader of self-help you’ll probably be familiar with workshops, seminars, and the like. Large halls packed with badge wearing delegates, all facing the stage and podium in readiness for a motivational speaker who will cause you to question everything you believe, shake the foundations of all you hold dear, and force you to reconsider every assumption you’ve ever made.

This isn’t going to be one of those workshops.

This is going to be workshop for normal people, with normal lives. It’s for anyone who may have been ambling through life and wondering why they’re not – well – just that little bit happier. It’s going to be an evening of brainstorming and happiness planning, and after two hours I’m hoping to have armed everyone with enough goodies (INCLUDING the paperback version of my book) that they can return home and start creating a happier life. Wow. No pressure then! Put like that I don’t feel scared at all!!

Anyway, the workshop is at 7:30pm, on Thursday the 24th November, and costs just £18.00.

Right now this looks like this could be the first of many speaking gigs. I’m currently in discussion with four organisations about the possibilities of doing a talk, a workshop, or something similar in the new year. I can’t tell you much more than that at the moment, but check back later and click on talks and workshops for more details (or save yourself the bother and subscribe to this blog via email).

In the meantime, if you have any tips, hints, words of encouragement, or just know where I can get my hands on a truck load of Valium, feel free to use the comments box below.


Click here (or the YouTube link below) to listen to a BBC interview about the book the workshop is based on