Make Your Writing Resolutions Count


Hi Everyone

It is important to approach the new year with confidence.

Knowing you are making progress with your writing will not only enhance your chances of being published but it will also increase your self-belief.

You need to make a minimum of 5 writing resolutions, number them in order of importance and give yourself a time scale to complete each one.  Work your way through the list.  You should aim to complete at least 3 of them, that’s one, every 4 months.  By the end of the year you should have accomplished at least 1 of them.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Write a book – 1 year
  2. Write 1 more new blog post  – Once a week
  3. Write a minimum of 1 letter to a friend – Once a Month
  4. Write at least 1 diary entry – Every day or every other day
  5. Brainstorm writing ideas – Once a week

Now add some of your own and figure out which of them:

  • You have the largest passion for.
  • Mean the most to you.
  • Will give you the highest sense of happiness if you achieve them.

Make sure they are your priorities.

These factors will be your motivation to success.

Good luck.

Write soon.  Sandra

Five Fantastic Reasons To Put A Smile On Your Face!


Hi Everyone

Staying positive in this current economic climate can be extremely difficult, especially when the daily news seems to bring nothing but doom and gloom. However, one simple thing could help you on your way to becoming a more positive person.

Smiling, simple but true!

  1. Smiling, puts other people at ease, it lets them know you are approachable.
  2. A smile can break the ice with a stranger and lead to new found friendships.
  3. Your usual tone of voice is lowered whilst on the telephone, smiling on the telephone allows your tone to become higher and sound more welcoming.
  4. Even if you are feeling fed up, depressed and really don’t want to smile, try it, a little bit at a time, you will be surprised how focusing on something else which contradicts your current frame of mind, could actually be a step in helping you to get out of the poor frame of mind you are in.
  5. If someone smiles back at you, it will make you happier and increase your confidence.
Keep smiling.
Write soon.
Sandra

New site beatredundancyblues.com


Hi everyone.

I have been busy working on my new website beatredundancyblues.com and when it’s finished I hope it will be an invaluable resource for you to use daily.

Redundancy can be one of the most traumatic times in your life but it can also be, as I discovered, one of the most rewarding.  If I hadn’t been made redundant for a second time, during one of the worst economic times, I would not have set up quirkybooks.net or my new redundancy website.  It is through my experience that I have been able to uncover important skills, gain a productive insight into the world of employment and become a more organised and positive person.

To go with the launch of my new Blog beatredundancyblues.wordpress.com you will soon be able to visit its’ invaluable website beatredundancyblues.com

The website will provide:

  • Access to job sites
  • Interview advice
  • Contact details for counselling organisations
  • Help in looking after your personal wellbeing
  • Time management skills

Write soon.

Sandra

10 Reasons Why Self Belief is Good for You


Hi Everyone.

If you have been reading my Blog and website quirkybooks.net, you may think deciding to self publish my own book by starting up my own publishing company is either brave, stupid or just darn right crazy.  Either way, I value your opinion and appreciate your feedback.

The fact is, I will not let anything stop me, not in the long term. Sure there will be problems to overcome, obstacles to step over and lots of skills to learn but I will feel better for having done it and I am committed to believing in my own capabilities.

You see, there is a lot than can be said for believing in yourself.  The benefits can be immense and I would like to share some of those with you right now.

1)  Your confidence will increase.

2)  You will achieve more.

3)  You will be more accepting towards constructive critisism.

4)  You will become a stronger person.

5)  You will be able to disregard people who make malicious comments and put             you down.

6) You will have a stronger sense of purpose in your life by knowing who you are.

7)  You will be a happier person.

8)  You will have more structure to your life by defining your goals.

9)  When you believe in yourself, so will others.

10)  You will become a more positive person, which is good for both your                          physical and mental well being.

One final thought…….Believe in yourself, the only person who can make you truly happy, is you, for their is no one else who knows you better.

Good luck and B E L I E V E.

Write soon.

Sandra

quirkybooks.net

Twenty Reasons Why You Should Self Publish


Hi Everyone

Thank you for continuing to join me on my wonderful journey of the written word.  Your support is greatly appreciated.

As you can see from my previous blogs, I am a great believer in self publishing. But why?  I hear you ask.

Let me enlighten you with my twenty reasons why you should self publish.

1)  You have overall control over the layout of your book.

2)  You can choose your own illustrator.

3)  You can work with your illustrator to come up with designs you both feel are            suitable for your story.

4)  You have control over how you publicise your books.

5)  You choose how much you are going to sell your books for.

6)  You have control over your profit and loss.

7)  You will gain more contacts for your future business which could lead to                   other publishing opportunities.

8)  You can increase your design skills.

9)  You will achieve personal satisfaction.

10)  You will never be bored as you will always have projects on the go.

11)  It will give you a sense of purpose.

12)  You will produce a product which will bring happiness to others.

13)  You can give new talent a platform to work from.

14)  You can decide on the design of your book cover.

15)  You can produce a product which may help people.

16)  It will give you a sense of great achievement.

17)  You can offer insight to the reader.

18)  It will increase your self-confidence.

19)  It will increase your self belief.

20)  You can absorb yourself in your own imagination.

You will notice I didn’t say, to make money.  Publish your writing for the love of it and you won’t go far wrong.

Write soon.

Sandra

quirkybooks.net

How redundancy changed my life


Hello everyone.

It has been a busy few weeks.  I have finally received my commercial printer and now quirkybooks.net is on it’s way to something BIG.

For those of you who don’t know what quirkybooks.net is all about, let me enlighten you.

I founded quirkybooks.net in July 2010.  It was a project I had been working on since being made redundant in February 2009 but a concept which had been in my head for some time.  It was only because I was made redundant that the idea began to become a reality and what was once a traumatic time turned out to be the little gem needed to push me forward to believe in myself and my future business.

Many people see redundancy as an obstacle, I saw it as an opportunity.  A chance to discover, what I was born to do.  What my special gift was and what I could do with it.

Sure lots of other people have hidden talents too and I would encourage them to do the same.

That is, think about what you love to do, be it writing, art, pottery, drama, comedy.  Even if other people think it is impossible, if you know in your heart of hearts you can do it, then do just that.  Make it happen.  Find out what you need to do it and then just do it.

I know it is not going to be easy or simple, but if you want something so badly, something you are willing to fight for, to wait for, then it will be worth it.

It will make you feel empowered, alive, confident and give you the most precious thing, self belief.  Once you feel the power of self belief, nothing in your life will ever be the same.   Your glass will always be half full, your life will be enriched, your enthusiasm will pass on to others and the world will be a better place for having you in it.

Go for it.

If I have lost you and you don’t have a clue what I am talking about.  Let me explain.

I have founded quirkybooks.net through a love and passion for writing.  When I was made redundant I felt my world was coming to an end and then I realised it was just the beginning.  A time to reflect on my previous jobs, at my life to date and to consider if I had been doing was what I was born to do.  What would make me happy?  Was I really happy in the job I had been made redundant from?

I had been in the job for almost 3 years and I felt I was good at it and I enjoyed it. But and there was a but, it was long hours, I used to get shouted at by staff who thought they were superior to me and liked to throw their weight around.  I was slaving away, whilst wishing I could do more with my life.  I loved writing then, but I never had time to do much.  I love writing now and now I do a job where I work to write.  In other words, I do a job with less hours, for reasonable pay but I am able to have some time for my writing, not as much time as I would like but hey, I guess the best things come to those who wait.

At the moment quirkybooks.net is in it’s infancy, still at the beginning of it’s story but with each day a new page turns which will lead to an exciting middle and a fantastic basis for a whole series of stories.

If you look at my website quirkybooks.net you will see it is all about me and my writing.  If you take a closer look , it will explain my current projects and how you can get involved.

But that is not the best thing.  The best is yet to come.

quirkybooks.net will be becoming a publishing company in it’s own right.  It will be a platform for myself to share my work with you.  There will be books, written by me, that you will be able to buy.  They will not be imported from abroad, they will not be printed abroad, they will individually printed by me.  This means you will be able to put your own individual message in them.  Be it for a birthday, a christmas gift or just to tell someone how much you care.

This is what quirkybooks.net will be able to offer you.  A personalised touch.  You will be able to read the difference.

quirkybooks.net will also be giving new or unknown illustrators a platform from which to allow their imagination to spring into print.

A lot of work has to be done before quirkybooks.net can get off the ground running.

There is still more equipment to buy and designs of illustrations to try.

But it is an exciting time and I wanted to share it with you.

quirkybooks.net will predominantly begin concentrating on the picture book market for children aged 3 to 5 years.

It will also look to incorporate other quirky products.

This is not to say I will not work with other publishers to publish my own work because I would welcome any opportunity to write.  I think the market is big enough for everyone to help each other.

So the next time you log into quirkybooks.net, read my latest news and get involved.

Happy writing.

Write soon.

Sandra

quirkybooks.net

Sixteen Reasons Why Customer Service Is Dead!


Hi Everyone.

I have worked in retail for over fourteen years and although most companies are fighting to survive, many are not fighting to keep their customers.

Gone are the days when customers used to take the product to the till themselves and the assistant would merely put it through without much interaction.  Just as prices of goods have increased, so has their expectation.  If we as retailers and businesses, do not meet that expectation, it is likely that our customers will go elsewhere.

So why is customer service only great as an exception and not as the rule?  Why is customer service dying and in some places I have visited, it is already dead?

I racked my brain and this is what I came up with.

  1. Poorly qualified staff who have a lack of experience in their chosen field.
  2. A lack of training, this is an area companies often cut budgets for when times are tough.  If they had any sense they would make this a bigger focus to beat off their competition.
  3. The staff are poorly paid and so there is no incentive to improve.
  4. The Manager does not lead by example.  They do not approach customers so neither do their staff.
  5. Staff have pre-conceptions about who will buy and tend to focus on those particular customers rather than speak to everyone in turn.
  6. Staff do not know how to build a rapport with customers, to get to know their needs as an individual and the customer leaves feeling uncared for.
  7. Staff are disinterested in their job and therefore lack motivation.
  8. Staff have the wrong personality for the job, they don’t like engaging with strangers or approaching them.
  9. Some staff may be experiencing bullying from colleagues and it is stopping them from being confident in the job.
  10. Companies are unreliable.  Staff do not keep in contact with their customers by phoning them back when they say they will.  I have had this happen to me and it is very frustrating and rude.
  11. Customers are made to feel it is too much trouble for the business to help them get what they want.
  12. Staff don’t care.  They have a bad attitude.
  13. Staff are too task orientated and the customers are made to feel they are in the way.
  14. Owners of the business have lost touch with the reality of running it at local level and put too much pressure on staff to multi-task and hit deadlines, leaving less time for their customers.
  15. Staff are too engrossed in their own conversations and talk about things which are not of interest to the customer.
  16. Staff are miserable and take their personal problems to work with them, which customers can find uncomfortable, unwelcoming and it makes them want to leave.

I could go on.

It is good to see someone else has noticed these.  Queen of Shops, Mary Portas, has been running a series on TV examining a lack of customer services in various businesses.

If anyone has anything to add, feel free.

Write soon.

Sandra