Faking Balance Giveaway on Goodreads

Faking Balance Cover

We’re taking the launch of Faking Balance in the full spirit of #FakingBalance. In other words, I might be a bit behind on my part of the marketing. I might have a spreadsheet that details each and every marketing activity I could be doing. And I might open that spreadsheet once a week and sigh. Because — work, kids, college applications, walking the dog, facial resurfacing, steam mopping, etc. Lots and lots of etc.

While I will readily admit that I’ve not embraced Goodreads as a Good Author ought, I have managed to get a giveaway live. It starts tonight and I hope you’ll enter and share the book on your virtual shelves and review it and all those other wonderful Goodreads goodness!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Faking Balance by Lela Davidson

Faking Balance

by Lela Davidson

Giveaway ends November 02, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Please enter and share with your friends. And if you understand Goodreads, I could use some help. Be my friend or something :)

How a Capsule Wardrobe Fights Decision Fatigue to Help You Kick Ass All Day


A few years ago, before the Big Job and the kids’ college applications and the Faking Balance in turbo mode, I used to get up very early on Monday mornings with these ladies to talk about all things mommy-related on the local news. Getting dressed for regular life is a challenge for me; getting dressed for TV was practically paralyzing. Fortunately, once we started appearing together, my partners started picking out my clothes. Because I am wardrobe challenged, letting Kim and Loria put my looks together made the most sense. And while I have no doubt the three of us will work together again one day, and I might even charm them into being my personal stylists once again, for now I have to get my self dressed. Every single day. Seriously.

When I stumbled upon the capsule wardrobe last winter, I was so excited because I LOVE a system and this seemed like an ideal way for me to decrease the morning anxiety of getting dressed that could really work for me. I know this all might sound a little silly, because how hard is it really to get dressed in the morning? Very, for some of us. And if you’ve ever had more than five shirts on before you left the house, you might need a capsule wardrobe too. Because clothes are extremely important, and having to make decisions about them each and every day is a colossal expenditure of mental energy that could be better utilized elsewhere.Steve Jobs employed the ultimate capsule wardrobe, and it enabled him to be more creative. A lot of other extremely successful people to the same thing. There are only 37 pieces (give or take) in my capsule wardrobe and they all work together like Garanimals for grown ups. Genius. Because there’s nothing that burns my mental resources quite like getting dressed in the morning. Most days it’s all I can do to get out of the house in something that doesn’t bring up feelings of being the awkward 4th grader in bell bottom jeans and a cowl neck sweater.

I had no idea when the amazing Kyran Pittman introduced me to the concept of the capsule wardrobe, that I was actually taking my first baby steps into learning about decision fatigue, which is an actual thing that smart people study. If you think, like I did, that the only decisions that tax your brain are important ones, you are wrong. So, so wrong. Basically your brain is only able to make so many decisions in a day. Once you’ve hit your quota, your decision making capability is diminished. So you could start making poor decisions, or just start to use way too much energy for simple decisions. And again, we’re talking ALL kinds of decisions, not just the really important ones, like a which color to put on your nails. So, on a daily basis, decisions are basically a finite resource–got it. Now, to make it even more interesting, consider that making decisions uses the same brain juice as willpower, which makes sense because choosing the boiled egg over the Krispy Kreme is just another decision.

By making it easier on myself to put together an outfit every day, I can improve my health because I have more decision making juice at lunch time to select a salad over a chimichanga; I can improve my business because I have more juice for choosing the right things to work on given the infinite nature of my to-do list; I can improve my relationships by choosing better timing to talk about important things, and make better decisions about which household chores to remind my family to do in a given day.

When I think about what a valuable resource each decision is, how it can affect the rest of my day, it makes me want to really learn how to limit them. What other decisions can I avoid at home, at work, with my kids? What decisions am I making that would be better made by someone else? Where am I micro-managing and therefore limiting my growth? What else can I put on auto-pilot?

And how can I look as cute as when I had two personal stylists?

Got systems? Teach me! I’m a nerd for systems. Let’s get smarter together.

What mundane decisions have you eliminated from your daily routine?

I LOVE to Talk


Is your group in need of an energetic, dynamic speaker who tells the truth about media, marketing, and work life balance? Book me to entertain, inspire, and educate your group. If you’re thinking you might like to get on my calendar, let’s talk soon!



Image: Sweet Portrayal

How Long Does It Take to Write a Book?

How Long to Write a Book?

Most people I meet are curious about how long it takes to write a book. I suspect writers ask because they are secretly comparing their process to mine, or they are calculating the free hours in their days, ever convinced that if they only had more time… Non-writers express disbelief that anyone has time to write a coherent thank-you note, let alone a whole book. As an author, when I see the final product, I’m still amazed that it all came out of me. All by myself (almost) I made each and every word fit together in a little puzzle of sense until it meant something to someone else. A book is a tiny miracle when you really stop to think about all the processes that had to combine in order for it to live.

From the initial idea, to the awful first drafts, to the editing, more editing, so much editing, and then all the logistics of getting the words into a format others can consume, and ideally, pay for. It’s all so much work.

For Faking Balance: Adventures in Work and Life, it all went down like this.

April 2013
Drafted the initial essays for the collection through a program of structured writing prompts offered by the writing coach I’ve been working with for years, Christina Katz. I had a vague idea that I wanted to write about the challenges women face on the work/home front. This was the 2nd or 3rd time I’d completed Christina’s 21 Moments program, and I had decided this time to focus on moments at work dating back to the decision to get pregnant while working as an accountant all those years ago. Christina doesn’t offer this program anymore, but at the time you could pay a nominal fee to receive daily examples of great writing as inspiration, as well as a reminder to sit and write one moment each day. By the end of three weeks I had 50 pages of raw material. It was mostly decent and definitely focused around my theme because I had selected the 21 moments I would flesh out ahead of time. I wasn’t sitting down each day to free write. I had a specific moment in mind each day. Time elapsed: 21 days.

May 2013 – July 2014:
Time to turn that raw material into actual essays. I had to fill in around whatever moment I had written, providing context and finding the relevant and compelling story for each. Then I had to fill in the blanks, find interesting moments in between the ones I had written, because unlike my two previous books, I wanted this collection to have a narrative arc, which is fancy writer talk for a beginning, middle, and end. Starting a new job in August of 2013 (the first time working in an office for more than 6 years) put a cramp in the writing schedule. My singular focus during that time was getting enough material to go into the editing phase. Time elapsed: 1 year 3 months.

July 2014 – January 2015:
Now we’re getting to the fun stuff. Sculptors just have to carve away at their raw material. Writers first have to create the raw material, and only after they have done so do they get to shape it. Granted, there was a lot of editing while drafting, getting essays into a form that was truly worthy of showing another human. That process also informs the drafting of new work that supports the overall theme. For the editing in earnest, I worked with an amazing editor who helped ensure this book had a true through line, or narrative arc that I mentioned earlier. Time elapsed: 7 months.

February 2015 – September 2015:
Publishing. Distribution. Marketing. All of this takes much, much longer than you think it should. It’s just forever, and that’s working with an independent publisher. I have no idea how long these things take at a big New York house. I plan to find out someday. During this time I settled on a cover, saw the preliminary listing on Amazon come, and that beloved first print order came through. A retailer actually believing the book is salable is an important milestone. Time elapsed: 8 months.

Total time elapsed from first draft to publication: 2 years and 5 months. Which is actually extraordinarily fast for 100% new material. That is, dare I say, pretty good.

Beyond: Now I have another title, another product, to market forever. To reference and remember and celebrate and sometimes cringe when I will later undoubtedly see things I wish I would have done differently. After that, life goes on. Time elapsed: Unknown.

There it is, in case you wanted to know. Let me know your process in the comments, and please take a look at the finished product here and see if the book is one you can recommend to others. Thanks!

Books Make Great Gifts!

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Lela Davidson’s award-winning, best-selling essay collections. Short reads for busy moms who smile and smirk. Available in paperback and ebook on Amazon,
NookiTunes and other places books are sold.


Faking Balance Launch Party!

Faking Balance launch party

In case you haven’t heard, we’re having a party! Please join us Tuesday, September 15 at Bathe and Posh Alley Boutique in downtown Rogers, Arkansas. We’ll have drinks, snacks, and paperbacks. We are offering special launch pricing on books, because you WILL want to buy a copy for every mother, daughter, sister, and friend that you have. And of course I will be signing. The Sharpies are standing at attention!


The venue is SUPER cool. Think Bath Junkie meets funky art gallery meets eclectic boutique. It’s time for downtown Rogers to shine, and this is one of the places that is infusing new life into our historic district. Plus, my friends are bringing wine and cupcakes! It is good to have friends in the wine and cake businesses. AND we even have a signature scent. It’s a surprise and you’re going to love it I promise.


It’s always exciting for me to get to spend time with so many friends and readers at once, so please, please come by, have a glass of wine and say hello! Please feel free to share this post and make it a night out!


Books Make Great Gifts!

Screen shot 2015-08-16 at 9.09.26 PM

Lela Davidson’s award-winning, best-selling essay collections. Short reads for busy moms who smile and smirk. Available in paperback and ebook on Amazon,
NookiTunes and other places books are sold.


Publishing a Book: 3 Very Different Experiences

Lela Davidson's books

This is the story of three very different books. The process of publishing a book can be thrilling, disheartening, empowering, and everything in between. My three books are very similar to the reader, but the difference in what Blacklisted from the PTA, Who Peed on My Yoga Mat? and Faking Balance: Adventures in Work and Life have meant to me is striking.

The first book is thrilling. It’s your baby, your supreme accomplishment, and your delusion. Despite all evidence to the contrary, and despite your absolute insistence that you have not fallen prey to literary fantasy, you believe that you will soon find yourself on the Today Show, laughing with Matt and Savannah about that especially endearing anecdote on page 42. You think the cash flow from book sales will soon cover not only the new housekeeper, but also the new house. Not right away, but you know, eventually.

Publishing your first book is the most thrilling thing that has ever happened to you. (Unless you are a mother and then you’re supposed to say it was giving birth. But let’s be honest, that’s just hard and you really don’t get any return on investment until your baby turns three or four, at the earliest.) So you spend an inordinate amount of time focused on the celebrity aspect of authoring, versus the authoring aspect of authoring. But the whole writing words is actually super important if you hope to ever produce the elusive second book.

Somehow you manage to pull yourself away from your intoxicating affair with your first book and get busy writing the second. You will undoubtedly believe the second book is better than the first, and it will be better because you have thousands more hours of writing experience than you did when you created your first book. So you hustle and get that second title out as quickly as possible because Amazon has algorithms and your tentative celebrity status has a shelf life. You launch the second book into the world expecting the same reception as the first. Nay, expecting an even more enthusiastic reception, because, see above– this book is better than the first. Except that all those friends and family who could hardly believe you actually published one book, have now become accustomed to your newfound lot in life: Author. Therefore, they no longer think it’s a very big deal that you have produced a second book. That is, after all, what authors do. In the span of 18 months your adoring public has gone from fawning over your incredible accomplishment to yawning over your excessive Facebook posts.

It’s not like your sophomore effort is a failure, it sells more in 6 months than the average book sells in its lifetime. Its LIFETIME. Number two continues to be a steady seller, inspiring smirks and smiles around the world. But relatively speaking, it’s really only about half as successful as your first book. Do you know who is incredibly unimpressed by half as successful? Agents. Talk show bookers. Publishers who drink their coffee in Manhattan. Those sorts of people.

Still, you cling to your ambitions. While working a full time job, you flesh out a project you’d been playing with. You write, edit, polish, and learn new skills to produce your… wait for it– BEST work yet.

This time, however, is different. This time you’re non-delusional. This time– it’s business.

Even though you don’t have nearly the time you’d like to promote the book and reach new readers, you make better choices about how to spend the time you do have. After all, this is your third time out. You didn’t get here without learning what is going to, as we say in the day job, “move the needle” and what’s going to be a wasted effort of your ever more precious time. You hustle and hope, and remember that you do not actually run the world.

And then the most delightful thing happens. Your third book has the most successful online launch in your long (4 year) history as an Author with a capital “A.” Just for a minute it’s not business anymore. This book has become the pure bliss of your first time around, without the silliness and misdirected fantasies of that giddy time. This time you know exactly where you’re going with all this. You’ve got strategy. You’ve got an end game. Once you figure that out, it’s all just play.

This art and commerce gig is tricky. Sometimes you’re focused on the art, other times the commerce. What I’ve learned from the third book is that focusing on the commerce forces you to refine the art, to make decisions about how you’re going to serve the audience, and more than anything else– to ask for what you want. No one’s going to give it to you. That’s business.

Books Make Great Gifts!

Screen shot 2015-08-16 at 9.09.26 PM

Lela Davidson’s award-winning, best-selling essay collections. Short reads for busy moms who smile and smirk. Available in paperback and ebook on Amazon,
NookiTunes and other places books are sold.


The Power of Boundaries: 3 [and Only 3] Big Things

Power of Boundaries

It’s only September, but in my planner December is practically over. I’m looking forward to living through the next four months. They will pass far too quickly for all I have planned. Fortunately, I had the good sense last December to clarify my focus for the year. I decided then that I would embark on 3 and only 3 big projects this year. That is, 3 and only 3 big personal projects. At work, I have more big projects in process on a typical Tuesday than I have completed in my entire life thus far. The dynamic environment has taught me to think bigger, for sure, but more on that another day. This post is all about the power of boundaries and their unique effect on getting more done, and feeling better doing it.

Tucked into my cozy couch on a crisp day last fall I decided on my Big 3 Things.

  • I would throw a party for my husband who turned 50.
  • I would keep my son, who is a senior this year, on track to for college application season.
  • And I would launch a book.

That seemed like plenty.

And it is.

With a lot of help from friends and family, the party turned out to be a lovely affair, complete with a fancy cake, vintage photos, and a bunting. I would show you a picture, but I forgot to add “transfer images from camera to cloud” to my list. So, I guess I can’t actually consider that project complete quite yet.

My son is, as I type this, reading a letter to his father for proofing that he wrote to his Spanish teacher, IN SPANISH, requesting a letter of recommendation. I think he’s on the right path. I feel that 8 solid months of reminders have helped put him in the college application mindset. However, this project is far from complete, and will actually carry over into 2016.

Finally, the book launch. It’s peaking now. Officially, we launch on 9/15, but the online switch flipped on at the beginning of the month. I’ve already completed the first two speaking engagements of the season, and I’m getting requests for more fall dates than I can manager. There are a dozens of essentials that absolutely must happen. The list of things I could be doing to promote the book is longer than I care to think about.

But I don’t feel overwhelmed. I haven’t felt overwhelmed all year. And I’ve probably accomplished more this year–personally, professionally, entrepreneurially–than I have in a very long time. Something about the boundary of knowing that in my after-work hours I had 3 projects and only 3 projects to complete for the whole year served two purposes. First, it kept me focused. I mean, for the most part. Starting new projects is okay, right? So long as I’m not committed to completing them? Sometimes you just have to start something new even if you know good and well you have no business starting that project because there’s no way in hell you can get it done. But screw it, starting things is fun and sometimes you just need to play.

But for the most part, 2015 has been a year of extreme focus.

The second thing the 3 and only 3 limit provided was comfort. Whenever I started to feel overwhelmed (hello, matching napkins) I remembered that I was working on a big project, and that it had an end, and that I had only committed to 3 of them for the WHOLE YEAR. That made me feel better every single time.

I’ve known for a long time that constraints facilitate my creativity. This girl can’t put together so much as a playlist without a goal, a spreadsheet, and a deadline. But I’ve been surprised at how much peace and productivity resulted from such a simple discipline.

Simplify. Say no. It’ll help you feel better and get more done. Also, it makes road trips more fun.

Except when you start thinking about the next 12 months being full of lasts before your BABY goes to college. Because then you’ll just freak out. And that’s not productive or peaceful. But it happens, and when it does, just practice #FakingBalance

Books Make Great Gifts!

Screen shot 2015-08-16 at 9.09.26 PM

Lela Davidson’s award-winning, best-selling essay collections. Short reads for busy moms who smile and smirk. Available in paperback and ebook on Amazon,
NookiTunes and other places books are sold.

5 EASY Ways You Can Make Faking Balance a Bestseller TODAY!

Faking Balance by Lela Davidson

Today is Amazon Day for Faking Balance! Thanks to all of you who pre-ordered copies, we are already ranking fairly well in key categories, including Parenting & Family Humor. What would be super amazing is hitting number one for new releases in the category today, on our official digital launch day. Below are five easy ways to help out. Any one action makes a big difference for this book. And this book deserves to be #1.

Faking Balance is a funny book for working moms, stay home moms, and other people such as aunts, dads, grandparents, and neighbors who like dogs more than they like children. I wrote this book because I believe that in the quest for work life balance, we’re all faking it. My goal with this collection is to inspire others to celebrate the small wins and laugh off the rest. By helping propel this book to bestseller status, you’ll be part of the process!

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Here are 5 easy ways you can push Faking Balance up the chart to #1 in Parenting & Family Humor today:

1. Buy Faking Balance: Adventures in Work and Life
Buying the book today is the surest way to ensure it heads straight to the top of the chart. And if I do say so myself, this is my best work. Like my other books, it is pick-up-and-put-downable, but the essays in this collection also work together to tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Plus, admit it– you’re dying to know how I used a spreadsheet to conceive a child. If you’re local and planning to be at the launch party, you can cut to the front of the line to have your copy signed when you buy from Amazon and bring it to the party on September 15th.

2. Buy My Other Paperbacks at a Discount
I’ve met a lot of new readers at events in the last couple of weeks. To make it easy for them to get to know me and my work, we’ve created an event bundle of three books for $35. For a limited time we’ve been able to lower the paperback price on Blacklisted from the PTA and Who Peed on My Yoga Mat? online, too. Right now you can get all three paperbacks for under $35 from Amazon. Which is to say, the price on my older titles has been reduced to $9.99 each.

3. Buy Digital at a Discount
If you prefer digital, we’ve got you hooked up there, too. Get all three books on Kindle for under $20 for a limited time. Start with Faking Balance and add on Blacklisted from the PTA and Who Peed on My Yoga Mat? for only $4.99 each.

4. Share this post
Share the love! Word of mouth is an author’s best friend. Social media makes it easy. If you love me, let me know by sharing this post with #FakingBalance so I can find you love you back.

5. Share my Amazon profile on Facebook
When you share my official Amazon profile, I’m not just some weird friend of yours, I’m a legit author with other books and great reviews. And an awesome headshot. Be sure to tell everyone how you LOL’d all the way through the books you’ve read. Again, #FakingBalance will help me find you and express my overwhelming gratitude.

Amazon Profile, Lela Davidson

Thanks for your support, and let’s climb the charts together today!

Click here to buy Faking Balance: Adventures in Work and Life 

Faking Balance on Pre-Order at Amazon

Big news of the day: Faking Balance: Adventures in Work and Life is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

I wrote this book because I believe that in the quest for work life balance, we’re all faking it. I want to inspire others to celebrate the small wins and laugh off the rest. In a lot of ways, it’s the most personal thing I’ve written, and it really tells the story of the choices I’ve made over the last [gulp] almost 18 years raising kids and raising my own life right along with them. I really, really, really hope you find something to love in it.

AND I am eternally grateful for your pre-order! If you’ve never done this before, it’s super easy. You order now, and on September 1st when the book officially “releases,” Amazon will charge you and ship your book. If you’re planning to come to the launch party here in Northwest Arkansas on September 15th (save the date! more details TBD) you’ll have your physical copy in plenty of time to bring it to the launch if you’d like me to sign it.

Kindle is not available yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

Again, from the bottom of my wiggly fingers, and my heart, thank you for all your support. Book #3 feels special.

Order me now, pretty please:

Faking Balance Cover



Faking Balance Cover Reveal!



It’s been a long time in coming, but finally ready to show you the cover of Book #3! September 15th is the big day for Faking Balance: Adventures in Work and Life. If you are in or around Northwest Arkansas I hope you will save the date. The launch festivities are a surprise–not because I’m so mysterious, but mostly because we haven’t figured them out yet. That’s #FakingBalance

I wrote this book because I believe that in the quest for work life balance, we’re all faking it. I want to inspire us all to celebrate the small wins and laugh off the rest.

I am so grateful this has actually all come together, amid the new day job that has me learning country music lyrics and searching for pictures of mason jars. At the same time, my husband and I are focused on preparing our high school senior (aka, one of those babies from all my stories) for college.

So, how did all this happen? Glad you asked, because that’s what’s in the book. Faking Balance: Adventures in Work and Life starts when I started really faking my balance, when I got pregnant with my first, and follows the twists and turns that led our family to Texas, Arkansas, and beyond, and me, ultimately, back into the type of full time work I never imagined I’d leave in favor “stay home” motherhood. I have been surprised by a lot of my choices along the way, but we work with what we’ve got, and pretend to balance it all. From being a young mother on a pumping break to being a middle aged mother doing her best not to cry at the office, these are stories of trying to be a grown-up while also raising children to someday be grown-ups.

Couldn’t be happier to have you along for the journey!


Working Mom Life: Presence Is a Virtue

Working Mom Brandi Riley

Working Mom Life is an interview series featuring real working mothers who are figuring out how to get the job done. Because there are more ways to be a working mom than there are ways to fold a cloth diaper, we can all learn from each other. Join the conversation #WorkingMomLife.

Brandi Riley is a social media and content strategist, lending her influence to some of America’s top brands. Not working was never an option. Brandi started mom life as a single mom, and like many working mothers, she was back at work by the time her daughter was 3 months old. In person, Brandi has an unusual poise and graciousness that I think you’ll sense in this interview, too. She repeats the concept of being present several times, and she makes it sound easy. Simple, yes. Easy, no. Here are 3 takeaways from my time with Brandi:

  • When in doubt (or anxiety), cancel plans.
  • Do NOT get suckered into caring about other peoples ‘stuff. Focus on your own stuff.
  • Just turn off the phone and be present.

LD: What was the biggest challenge of returning to work after your maternity leave ended?

I was very lucky because her daycare was located in the same building as the organization I worked for. The teachers would call me when it was time for her to eat and I would leave my office and go to nurse her. My only challenge was just being exhausted all of the time!

LD: You are a busy lady, sometimes working odd hours and often traveling for your clients. What is your secret to getting everything done in a day?

I just let stuff go. Seriously, I am okay with the fact that I can’t do it all, so I don’t even try. I’m not going to stress out about not being able to cook for my family on days that I’m working 8 hours and commuting for 2. They aren’t going to die if I order a pizza. Not stressing makes life work for my family.

LD: What about household chores? How do you and your husband share the work load?

My husband is great at being neat, but he’s not a deep cleaner. He keeps the house tidy on a regular basis, and I’m the gal that comes through with the vacuum, bleach and scrub brush to make it easy for him to keep things neat! He doesn’t believe in scrubbing and I don’t believe in hanging up my jacket when I come into the house. We’re a match made in heaven!

LD: How to you handle mommy guilt?

Because I work so much, I tend to overcompensate with things. There was a trip recently that I was planning to take my daughter on. It was going to completely bust our budget, but I felt like I owed it to her because I’ve been exceptionally busy lately. I realized however, that all of that isn’t necessary. She just wants quality time. We’d spend more time stressing out about the trip than spending actual time together. I cancelled our plans and just made it a priority to be more present.

LD: You make the #WorkingMomLife sound easy. Are there any words of wisdom that guide you?

Jobs come and go, family is forever. Focus on family and things will work out.

LD: What is the worst advice you’ve received lately?

“You work in social, it’s your job to be online all of the time.” – No. No, it’s not. Every life needs balance.

LD: What would you offer to new moms who are going back to work?

You can’t be everything to everybody. Choose the most important things and focus on them. Don’t get suckered into caring about other people’s stuff, especially if it’s going to take away from the real work that you need to get done in order to get back home to your family.

LD: I love that line. I think many women are perpetually suckered into spending attention on things that are none of our concern. So, final question, what would you say is your super-power?

My secret power is being able to turn 15 minutes of downtime into a meaningful time of togetherness. Just turn the phone off and be present. :-)

Turn off the phone? How does one even do that? If this is too drastic a step, as it is for me, you could start with simply putting the phone in a different room. It works. Thank you, Brandi! Learn more about Brandi on her blog, Mama Knows It All.

Learn about more working moms’ lives here: