Kind of a stressful week here at Casa Williams. Lots of stuff going on, and I’m having a fair amount of Mom Guilt this week. I’m hoping to get some writing done a little later this week. I’m way behind where I want to be (surprise, surprise), but I’m hoping some of the choices I’m making now will make the future go better. Which brings me to…

gtSelf Improvement: Teenage me always scoffed at self help/improvement types of books. I have no idea why. It had to have something to do with my crazy, mixed up teenage brain, but I would literally shy away from the self help aisle in bookstores. If I accidentally wandered down it, I’d quickly flee, then look around to make sure know one that that *I* was intentionally on *that* aisle. It’s like I had to pretend I had it all together. I didn’t need advice or help. That was for weak people.

Fast forward twenty years and I’m on a self improvement binge. It started with me beginning to listen to and read how-to-write books, something I’ve really never done before. I’ve pantsed every one of my books (“pantsing” is when you write without an outline and just go with the flow), and a huge part of me worried that if I tried to learn how to write, or tried to plot, or tried to change my method in any way, I’d never write another good book. (Apparently, crazy, mixed up teenage brain hasn’t COMPLETELY left me yet.) But I’m finding these craft books to be super interesting, and it doesn’t feel like they will change the way I write. Amazingly, I naturally write in a three point structure and include all or most of the story beats the “experts” recommend. Yay me. My hope is that by understanding why I write the way I do, and to identify the method, I can put a plan in place to do what I do faster. I’ll let you know how that works out. 🙂

The other “self improvement” thing I’m doing is listening to podcasts and reading “productivity” books. I’ve just started David Allen’s Getting Things Done, so I can, uh, get things done. I have a lot of time in my day, and yet I feel like I get further and further behind every hour. And there are days when I have no idea what I’ve accomplished. I gotta get things together, make better use of my time.

Food Prep: I’ve had a significant change in plans for the next few weeks, a change that will require me to pre-plan for other people to cook meals for my boys. I was trying to write down a list of things they eat, and that list ended up having about five items on it. I’ve added a few other things they sometimes eat, but meal times aren’t the easiest around here. Most meals, I have to force on them. *sigh* So there will be much feeding of chicken nuggets, hotdogs, hamsteak, and pasta.

One of these days, I’m going to get meal planning under control. I’m experimenting with the site, Plan to Eat. It has a free one month trial, and it looks like it might work well for us. I just need to enter in our normal rotation of meals. Anyone else use that site?

No More Shopping: I went shopping today. I hate shopping. I am fashionably challenged. Seriously. I have no idea what goes with what, and I’m 100% happy in jeans and a t-shirt. But I kind of want to look cute in my jeans in t-shirts, and after reading this post last year that says Gap and Old Navy make “mom jeans,” I’ve been super paranoid about my jeans. My favorite, most comfortable jeans in the world are Gap long and lean bootcut. But that post is right. They might look and feel awesome for five minutes, but after that, they sag. I’m constantly pulling them up. Cue: sad face. So I’ve been slowly replacing my Gap jeans with mostly Kut from the Kloth jeans (LOVE!). But I want bootcut jeans, so that’s what I went out looking for today. That and a cocktail dress. And a pair of comfy black flats.

Results? Fail. Fail. Fail.

And I just ended up frustrated for having wasted an entire day when I have so much stuff to do. So, no more shopping for me. I’m going back to Stitch Fix. I stopped because it’s pretty expensive, but I can limit myself to one item a month (or whatever frequency I end up choosing). It’s worth it to avoid shopping.

P.S. Shades of Treason got it’s first 5 star review on Goodreads today! And a mini review. Full review will be posted later. But ohmygoshyay! A stranger read and loved my new book!