Tag Archives: Personal Development

Finding Inspiration to Write Non-Fiction #AmWriting #NonFiction #PersonalDevelopment

Where Can You Find Inspiration to Write Self-Help Non-Fiction?

I attend a few author events throughout the year and one of the questions I love to ask my fellow scribes is ‘what inspired you to write your book.’ I love the variety of answers I receive as they are as wide-ranging as the genres we write for.

Fiction authors find inspiration in everything around them. I know that my young adult trilogy (The Guardian Series) evolved after I spotted a photograph in a magazine of a gravestone with three hooded figures. With non-fiction, that spark of inspiration may be slightly different. Read more

It’s Not a Midlife Crisis – It’s a Midlife Makeover! #PersonalDevelopment

zc8jcI find that I’m reading articles and books on a variety of midlife topics at the moment. I’ve devoured Jonice Webb’s book, Running on Empty, nodded my way through Miranda Sawyer’s Out of Time, and wept bucket loads over Diane Esguerra’s journey to scatter the ashes of her son at Machu Picchu in her memoir, Junkie Buddha. Read more

List Writing for Pleasure – Is it Possible? #SelfHelp

Notebook 2 (2)My children told me what they would like for Christmas this year by sticking lists to the fridge. It appears my obsessive list writing disorder has rubbed off on them!

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without an array of lists. There’s one for the food shopping, one for gift buying, and another list of names and addresses for sending out your Christmas cards. A list is a helpful tool to keep you on track with jobs, tasks, and anything else that fills your brain on a day to day basis.

As a single mum, list writing is the one personal development tool that keeps me organised and calm. If it’s not on the list then it doesn’t get done! I know many of my friend and readers who hate writing lists and roll their eyes to the heavens when I start chattering on about it. Whether you love or loathe list writing, I hope the following ideas spark a little bit of creativity, a fond memory, or even a goal for the New Year.

First of all I want you to put aside your Christmas shopping list. Forget about frozen turkeys, parsnips, and picking up the cranberry sauce.

Now grab a pad and pen and give yourself the gift of five minutes to jot down a few things for each of the lists I’ve added below:

  1. List all the jobs you would love to try (yes, even astronaut).
  2. List all the cities you’ve visited and underline your favourite.
  3. List your five favourite books (ooh, that’s a tough one!).
  4. List the first three things you’d do/buy if you won a million pounds.
  5. List five things you’d save if you house was on fire (don’t count family as that’s too easy).
  6. List four people you would love to meet (dead or alive).
  7. List three wishes you would like to come true.
  8. List five nice things you’ve done for other people.
  9. List your favourite things about your family.
  10. List five things you would like to change in your life.

When I got my kids to do this exercise I was amused to find a two day school week, and five day weekend on my daughter’s list. My son added more takeaways to his. Their favourite cities were Barcelona and London, and I was very pleased to see my book, Oath Breaker, on their favourite book list – not at all biased!

Read back over your lists. Could you choose one of your favourite cities to visit next summer? If you would only save five things from the fire then do you need the ‘stuff’ in your house? Is it time for a de-clutter? What action steps can you take in 2018 to make your wishes come true? Remember all the favourite things you wrote about your family when you are all together this Christmas. Can you turn list number 10 into a New Year Resolution? Changes in your life only happen when you want them to. If they were important enough to write on a list, why aren’t they important enough to do in real life? Make it happen.

Writing a list is a hugely important part of my day, but why can’t we have a bit of fun along the way. It is the silly season after all!

How did you get on with your list writing? Pick one from each of your lists and write them in the comments.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog.

Using Colour to Boost Your Wellbeing #SelfHelp

black clothesIf you took a look at my wardrobe, you’d see a plethora of black fabric. Skirts, trousers, dresses and tops; all of them are black. I don’t use my black clothing as a ‘think thin’ statement, and, fortunately, it isn’t because I attend a multitude of funerals, I just like wearing black. Of course, it may have something to do with my passion for the Gothic and horror genres. However, I do have the occasional flutter of blue, red and green, but I have to be in the right mood.

When I signed up for a Colour Me Beautiful session with my mum, I was worried that black would be on my no-no list.  Fortunately, I am one of the lucky ones who can get away with it (phew!), but I was surprised at how much colour can change your total appearance. The session was a birthday present for my mum, and we were looked after by Lisa, from Transforming U, who made us feel incredibly welcome. Lisa explained the history behind Colour Me Beautiful, telling us that it has been the world’s leading expert in image consulting for millions of women and men, around the world, for over 30 years.

It’s not just about the colours; the session gives you advice and confidence to utilise your clothing for your wellbeing.  Being well dressed doesn’t necessarily have to mean ‘expensive’. Lisa showed us how to match our clothes with our personality. She also walked us through the process of staying current and appropriate for our age.

Wearing clothes that flatter your proportions can change your entire look. Finally, we got to look at which colours complement our colouring.

There is a science behind the colour me beautiful approach, and it was fascinating to learn more about this side of the colour analysis. The influence of today’s Colour Me Beautiful system is the Munsell system. In 1903, Albert Munsell created a system of colour that he based on human eye response. It contains three characteristics; hue, value and chroma (clarity).

TColourhe hue represents cool or warm colours, whereas the value refers to its depth on a scale of 0 to 10 (black is 0/white is 10). The grading between light and dark colours measures the depth.  Finally, the chroma refers to the clarity of a colour, from vibrant to clear, also graded on a scale of 0 to 14 (muted is 0/clearest is 14)

Once we understood the science, Lisa was able to find out which colours were best for us.  The first step was to find our dominant colouring; this is done with your hair and eye colour.

I am a brunette with brown eyes. However, I dye my hair a reddish colour, and this has an impact on my overall colouring. My mum is blonde with brown eyes.

Once we knew our dominant colour (I was ‘deep’), we could move onto the colour test. This is where Lisa draped a variety of colour swatches across us to determine if we were warm or cool, clear or soft. The outcome will govern the different shades of a particular colour that we can wear.

My result was; deep – warm – soft, and so my colour palette includes rust, navy, moss, salmon, chocolate brown, red, purple, and a host of other incredibly rich colours.

Colour me Beaut2For the first time in ages, I was excited about wearing colour. Interestingly, my mum’s result showed that lighter shades of blue were not a good colour for her. My mum has always worn blue clothes and makeup, so it was quite strange for her to rethink not only her clothes but her makeup routine. As it happens, she switched to wearing more earthy tones, and it has transformed her face.

Colour me BeautIt was this aspect that fascinated me. By placing a swatch of colour close to our faces, Lisa could tell what worked and what didn’t. I didn’t grasp it until she put two shades of brown under my chin. One of the shades made my cheeks looked pink and healthy, and the other made me look like a bubonic plague survivor! It was an eye-opening experience.

Since returning home, we have both decluttered our wardrobes and recycled our clothing.  I’ve taken out all the wrong shades that made me look drawn and ill, and pulled the better colours to the front – I may have also indulged in a small shopping spree!

I bought a rust jacket in the sale, something I would never have thought about wearing before, and I team it with my jeans and a chocolate brown blouse. Every time I wear this outfit I am told by friends, family and even strangers on the street, that I look great.

According to Lisa, this is the ultimate test. If someone asks if you’ve not slept, or wonders if you are under the weather, the chances are you’re wearing the wrong colour. When you are complimented on your outfit or told you are glowing, then you’ve got it spot on!

The session was great fun, and both of us thoroughly enjoyed the day. We’ve both learned so much, and it has definitely influenced our shopping. Lisa gave us each a wallet that contains small swatches of our unique colours. I take mine with me everywhere I go so I can match up a top or jacket colour to the swatch and check it’s a good choice.

The Colour Me Beautiful session has given me the confidence to wear colours and certainly helped with my wellbeing. Instead of thinking I look ill, I now feel an inner glow that boosts my self-esteem. I still wear a lot of black, but I team it up with a variety of coloured accessories, jackets and scarves.

Why not try it for yourself? Pop over to Colour Me Beautiful and have a look.

I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has used colour to enhance their wellbeing. Please feel free to leave me a comment below.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on

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