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You may not feel like making any new resolutions regarding your writing, and that’s okay. But how about taking a look at writing challenges that others are taking on and seeing if you can be a little motivated to take on a few of them yourself. Who knows? Your muse may become excited and take you to new heights.


Here are some challenges that other writers are assuming. Pick a few and get going.


1. Write a Minimum of 1,000 words a Day


Really. This is not that much. The key to it, however, is that it is a daily thing – no exceptions. Whether you are working on a short story, a novel, poetry, or nothing right now, commit to those 1,000 words a day. Consider it critical practice of your craft. If you are in a dry period, try a different type of writing. Instead of writing fiction, write blog posts on topics that interest you, and submit them to relevant popular blogs.


Consider downloading a writing challenge app that will provide an unending supply of activities to get you going. You may find that writing 1,000 words a day is far easier than you thought.


2. Commit to Reading More


If you write fiction, read more fiction; the same goes for non-fiction. Many writers have taken the challenge of reading one piece a day. Even if you are busy with a “day job” or other obligations, put in those headphones and listen to those pieces. Good ideas can be sparked by reading/listening to the writing of others.


3. Resurrect Old Writing, finish it, and Submit it


All writers have pieces they began but then abandoned for a number of reasons – loss of interest, disappointment with its quality, etc. Make this the year that you pull those out, revise, re-work, and finish them, and then submit them. What is the worst that can happen? A rejection – nothing you haven’t experienced before.


4. Become a “Renaissance” Writer


The term “Renaissance man” refers to any person who has become a “master” of many things. Thus, a mathematician may also be an artist or musician and perhaps study law or medicine. Becoming a “Renaissance writer” means that you will dabble in the entire field, creating in all writing niches during the year. Even if short stories are your niche, add another genre each month – poetry, scriptwriting, non-fiction articles, a short novel, etc. You can even sign up with an online writing service. Students access them with “write my essay” please, and Trust My Paper professional writers craft them. You have probably not written an academic piece in years, and even this can prove worthwhile as you widen your thinking processes.


5. Choose Plots/Topics from the News


Become a bit of a news junkie. Read newspapers, watch cable news, and access a few news websites. Find stories that pique your interest, and make a list of the headlines and main facts. Go through these periodically and choose one as a start point for a short story, poem, or even a novel.


6. Up Your Submissions Numbers


If you generally submit a piece once every six weeks or so, “up the ante” for yourself. Commit to one a month. Even if you are working on a novel, set a number of short pieces to submit – pieces of any type – for free or for pay.


7. Participate in NaNoWriEvMo


You may have never considered participating in this annual event – writing a complete novel of at least 50,000 words in the month of November. Consider taking this challenge, and choose any month you want. Even if you don’t make it, you will have a great start on a piece that you can ultimately finish and submit.


8. Join a Writing Cooperative


There are cooperative writing groups all over the web. Many of them have writing challenges of different types. Pick a challenge and use the other participants as a support group to keep you motivated.


9. Get Collaborative


There are lots of other writers out there who want to stimulate their own creativity and production just as much as you do. You can find them by joining writers’ groups, either on or off-line. Find a few colleagues who want to participate in a collaborative writing project.


A Final Word


Cooks cook; builders build; and writers write. Whether writing is your full-time job or something you do “on the side,” you are a writer, nevertheless. And just as in any profession, there are times when you are passionate, productive, and churning out pieces and times when you are discouraged, unmotivated, or just in a general “funk.” These latter times are when you can benefit from taking on writing challenges – challenges that will force you back into your craft. This list of 9 is by no means comprehensive. Look around and see what other challenges are offered up. What do you have to lose? Even if you take on a challenge and don’t meet it, you have moved yourself forward.

Klöckner & Co Germany GmbH manufactures products and components made of steel and metal for customers all around the world. One of the leading steel traders in Europe, the company offers a wide range of products and logistic services. In fact, with hundreds of years of industry expertise and a distribution and service network of around 170 locations in 13 countries, Klöckner supplies around 120,000 customers.


A top priority for Klöckner is digitizing its business processes by improving internal workflows and increasing cooperation with suppliers and customers. Not only can businesses order their very own steel in the online shop, they can also check current contracts online, integrate with the Klöckner API for constant data exchange or visit the Klöckner Connect customer portal for any other customer service or supply chain needs.


With all of these services, Klöckner has built a strong customer base. In order to keep track of each and every customer and provide them with great service, the company turned to Aurea CRM. We had the chance to speak with Florian Müller, head of pricing & CRM at Klöckner & Co, about his professional and personal experiences with Aurea CRM. Florian is responsible for evolving the company’s use of the CRM system, including a Europe-wide rollout and serving as a “Scrum Master” with a small team that works on continuously developing sales support tools.



Aurea: How has Aurea helped Klöckner & Co disrupt the steel industry?


Florian: Klöckner is one of the big retailers when it comes to fabricated metal and steel. In this position, it is only natural that we want to lead the way into the future by digitizing the steel business. Aurea CRM helps us every day with this goal, because it helps us deliver better customer experiences and supports our day-to-day workload. Our salespeople can look into our customer database to view former and current contracts and deliveries, as well as contact details to help plan customer visits. We all know exactly what is going on: no matter where, no matter when.


As part of our “Klöckner & Co 2022” strategy, we set a quite ambitious target of generating 60% of our sales via digital channels by 2022. By using Aurea CRM and other digital tools that are necessary in today’s business environment, we’re confident we can achieve this goal.


Aurea: What is Klöckner’s history with Aurea CRM?


Florian: I joined Klöckner last August to manage Aurea CRM in-house, but our experience with Aurea CRM dates back to 2011. Back then, we compared the solution with a bunch of other competitors and chose Aurea CRM because it best suited our needs and our digital strategy.


Currently we are leveraging the CRM system in the UK, France and Belgium, and our sales department is so happy with it that we decided to roll it out to an additional 900 users across our offices in Germany and the Netherlands as well.


Aurea: How do your sales reps use Aurea CRM on a daily basis?


Florian: We use Aurea CRM for a variety of purposes. In total, 2,100 employees use Aurea for:

  1. Communications: All of our sales representatives use Aurea CRM to save and share their conversations. This helps teams stay up-to-date and keep tabs on what’s going on.
  2. Financial data: We have integrated all financial data from our SAP tool in Aurea CRM. If a customer has a question about a purchase or delivery, anyone on the team can look up the details. This is especially handy when they negotiate with clients or manage a special order. Before, we had to go back and forth between two software programs, but now all of our important information is available in one solution.
  3. Visit planning: Whenever one of our employees goes on a customer visit, they can use Aurea CRM to plan their route, ensure there are no overlaps with other colleagues and see who can visit which client(s) along the way. As a result of this helpful tool, our reps can streamline their business trips and make the most of their time while reducing Klöckner’s environmental footprint.


Aurea: What do your sales reps like best about the solution?


Florian: Klöckner’s reps are always on the go. We really care about our customers and often spend the time to meet them in person rather than just having another call. Before we had Aurea CRM, in order to find customer details, our sales reps often had to log into several big, bulky systems that were made for desktop computers (which was especially inconvenient when travelling).


That’s why route planning is so important to us, and Aurea CRM’s mobile web version is where it really gets helpful. Our reps appreciate that they can simply look clients up in the database from any device, and find all the essential information they need to prepare for customer meetings. Furthermore, it is easy to use and very accessible. Overall, the best thing about Aurea CRM is that our staff wants to use it. I think that’s the best proof of success -- that the solution supports our people in their daily work.


Aurea: What are your plans for the future?


Florian: At Klöckner, our digital strategy is one of our top priorities. We’re working to achieve an open industry platform for the steel and metal industry in which information can circulate freely with the help of digital tools like Aurea CRM. We want to connect market participants in order to improve efficiency and speed the supply chain. As we align our business for the long term, we also see digitization as a key step forward in sustainability. Just think of all the paper and fuel we save through digital communication and smart planning!


Aurea is a great partner and we are excited to continue working with the company. As we roll out Aurea CRM to more of our global sales teams, it makes everyone’s work easier and unites us as a company across country borders.


Jive is a complete collaboration hub and interactive intranet, powering a wide range of essential functions and processes in leading companies worldwide. We’ve compiled and templated numerous use cases and process flows to help customers build successful strategies. Explore seven of the top Jive use cases that helped companies achieve these breakthrough results.



Read the article here!

Top 8 Ways Companies Use Jive to Achieve Breakthrough Results | Jive Software

Today’s digital workplace is a beautiful and terrible thing. Technology helps us get more done, more quickly, than ever before, but it comes with its own challenges, from security to sprawl. In fact, the average business today uses over 300 applications, and employees shift between those applications every two to three minutes. This scenario impacts everything from IT’s overall strategy to each individual’s productivity.


One key unintended consequence of the digital workplace is the loss of corporate memory – a challenge we at Aurea are working hard to help companies solve with Jive’s interactive intranet. With so many applications and so much content in so many places, company culture gets diluted and eventually lost. Culture is often a fuzzy topic but the ramifications of the loss of corporate memory are serious and tangible: companies spend an average of $430,000 per departing employee due to corporate memory loss in addition to standard replacement costs.


Read more here!

5 Steps to a Successful Digital Workplace Strategy | Jive Software

What Is Social Collaboration? (and Why You Should Care)

Enterprise social collaboration, as defined by the Aberdeen Group, is “an organizational initiative where employees or partner organizations work together to accomplish business-related tasks, via user-generated (social) content creation and sharing.” The analyst firm also notes that social collaboration “connects internal stakeholders… for timely and effective information exchange,” which is a definition closer to our own interpretation here at Jive. Put simply, social collaboration connects people to each other and to knowledge within an organization.


Read the rest of the article here!

What Is Social Collaboration and Why Should I Care? | Jive Software

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