2020 Goals + What I’m Doing

Time flies when you are having fun, or the world falls into utter chaos, it’s kinda a toss up.

Welcome to 2020! I know I’m about 20 days late with a goal post for 2020, but there is a good reason for it. 2019 was definitely a year that I was glad to see disappear, although I’m not sure I was ready for 2020 to be here. I feel like I had so may goals and projects that I wanted to finish and work on, only to watch them crumble into dust.

At first, watching these dreams die bothered me, until I really sat down and took a good look at what I was doing and why I was doing it. It took me a bit of time, because to be honest I’m a very stubborn person who doesn’t let things go easily, and what I realized was working towards an end that wasn’t something I really wanted in the first place.

So I’ve decided to try an new approach for 2020, something I’m hoping will help bring back my passion to write and allow me to get some of my sewing and crochet projects finished too. Something that will make me happy to do instead of being one more thing on my already busy plate.

After quite a bit of discussion with my awesome hubby and a great friend about running a business, I’ve decided to shift my focus from running a successful business to just having fun doing what I love. And what I love to do, besides hang out with my cute kids and sexy husband, is write and craft items for my family, friends, and home. So that is what I’m going to do.

This means the 4 goals I had chosen to focus on in 2020 and posted on my Facebook Page had to be tweaked to reflect where I want to go in 2020. Which is from running a business to working at a hobby within my own time frame.

My Plans for this Year

Or as a friend of mine once called them, the dreaded goals.

However, I think if you view goals as dreadful or too much work, you are probably doing it wrong. I know I’m continuously doing them wrong because they never work despite the fact that I love creating goals to work on.

I know that there is this formula to make specific, measurable, realistic, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals, and that if it is a large goal, it’s best to break it down into smaller parts and set deadlines, but it doesn’t work for me at all.

I’ve tried it over and over again and something almost always pops up to trip me up. So rather than a list of lofty goals this year, I’m sticking with 4 goals and only 4 goals. These are things that I really want to accomplish or will have fun working on.

#1: I will be working on The Lost Heir Series!

Writing and finishing the Lost Heir Series has been a main focus of my for the last few years, but I basically tripped myself up by trying to force it into a format that I thought would make it easier for me and that would sale. Once I got my out of my own way this year and let the story write itself, everything fell into place.

Book #1, Butcher of Jhedek Pass, was finished sometime last year and placed on the shelf until I finished the other books. Book #2, Rebels & Traitors, caused me a fair amount of problems and took months of me writing it, tearing it apart to rewrite, and worrying over if I was doing it right to eventually abandon it. Last week, I finally completed book 2 and moved to book 3. Both books 1 and 2 were sent to my first reader on Thursday.

Friday, I started setting up the scenes for Book #3, The Healer’s Warrior, and editing them Saturday. The only reason I’m able to have these books done so quickly at the moment, is that I have already written over 200,000 words in this series before I decided to change the format.

The later books in the series will have more scenes that I will have to write and take me more time. I would like to finish this series in 2020, but as I haven’t any idea how many books this series will have I don’t know if that is feasible. But I’m going to definitely push for getting close.

#2: Declutter my craft stash.

You know those people who hold on to plastic grocery bags until they have a collection that are taking over their life, or at least their pantry or underneath the sink. The ones who can’t seem to recycle them, give them away, or throw them away.

Well, I’m that person, only it’s not so much a problem with plastic bags, as it is with craft items or potential craft items and odd ball things that should probably be thrown away but I haven’t done it because I might just be able to use it one day!

It’s not quite on the level of “hoarder” yet, but if I don’t either make stuff with it then it is time to get rid of it.

#3: Buy nothing more to add to my craft stash until I use what I have.

I have a lot of items in my stash, from cloth to cross-stitch kits to needlepoint to various yarn to jewelry making supplies, and it’s becoming a little unruly of late. I won’t be buying any more craft items until I use what I have in my stash. That means I’m working to finish any started project, of which there are only about 4.

After that, I will be working on some projects that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. This includes a pair of socks, a few crocheted sweaters or hooded vests, some sewn shirts and skirts from the cloth that I have been holding onto, a pair of sleep shorts for Miss T, some bralettes for the girls from some of my pants, and possibly a coat or rug from the jeans that I couldn’t bare to throw out.

Left to right: the Woodland Wrap Shawl, a bowl of yarn samples set aside for other projects, and the Woodland Hood.

Now the only exception to this goal will be when I work on custom orders for people because I don’t usually have what I need on hand and if I need to buy something to finish a project.

#4: Continue to add items to my shops.

I almost pitched Etsy over the side in December, but after some debate with myself, I’ve decided to keep it with some modifications to how I’m going to run it. I’m not going to force myself to add a listing a week or 2 listings a month. I’m just going to add the few finished projects I have around here to my Etsy shop when I feel like working on it. I’m not in any hurry.

But first, I want to update my web shop will all the changes I’ve made to the listings at Etsy. At one point, some of the Etsy listings will only be found here.

Reserve Goal: Republish Loving the Goddess of Love & An Angel in Tartarus

An Angel in Tartarus is actually all ready, but I’ve been waiting to complete the edits to Loving the Goddess of Love before I republish them both. I’m only adding this goal because I’ve been wanting to complete it, but only if I finish the other goals before the end of the year. This has been something that has really been bugging me and I would love to get it out of the way if I have the time, but it wasn’t as important to my creativity to do it now.


Wishing you all the best in January!

Stephannie Beman

June 2019 Check-In & My July Goals

Hey, Sweet Peas! How’s it all going with you guys? I hope you all are having a great Summer, although in my neck of the woods I’n debating calling this weather Spring.

Since it has been awhile since I’ve been around the webverse, I decided it was probably time for a check in with my blog friends, fellow readers, writers, and crafting enthusiast.  So here is the quick and dirty version of the last two months. *Please beware, this is a long post. If you want to know just what my July goals are? Just click here. *

What Happened in my Life in May & June

Our usually busy May turned into crazy busy when my dad got sick around Mid-May.  Since we don’t live too close by, it was a lot of driving time to their house and back. And  with the kids still in school and having their end of school programs and awards, it was a scheduling nightmare. Shortly after my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he passed away. I’m still trying to process it all nearly a month after the funeral.

Because the bad weather in May carried into June *It snowed about mid-June. Yikes!*, I had to keep the tomato plants that a friend gave us inside. About mid-June, I finally broke down and planted them into pots so I could take them outside in the day and bring them in each night until better weather allowed me to keep them out all the time. I also decided to do a little companion planting and added some bean plants to one tomato pot and lettuce to another. We’ll see how they do. I’m not much of a gardener. Keeping houseplants and established outside plants alive aren’t a problem, planting things from seed and I usually kill them.

My view from the tractor while dragging the meadow.

We also fell behind with the Ranch work because of the weather and ended up having to push it to stay on schedule. And because Ranch work comes before almost everything else, my poor flower beds are being neglected and in serious need of a good weeding. But with all the pollen floating around in June because of the late start in the season, my allergies are making me miserable. Add swollen tonsils and it’s not happening for awhile. *The Doctor told me that if we can’t get the swollen tonsils down, I might have to have them removed.  At my age, that would suck a monkey’s poopy butt.*

Anyhoo, after school ended, I was surprised with a Summer Band Camp for the kids in band which I needed to take my Little Miss K to as she will be playing her dad’s clarinet next year. That lasted for the first two weeks of June. And since we live so far from town, it meant spending most of the day there and getting little done. Well, that’s not completely true, I added more color rows to the afghan my daughter has been bugging me to finish for her. She choose the pattern and the colors for it.

Not only was I able to finish up some small crochet projects, but I was also able to solidify and tweak my plans for my blog, my shop, my writing, and my crafting. In April, my blogging plans was to gear my posts more towards all the different areas in my life and my shop plans were to release a product every week to two weeks until I had everything in stock listed.

Now, while most of those plans haven’t changed too drastically, a reassessment of my goals and planned tasks helped me see some of the problems that I would face,  figure out what I might be wasting time with, and what I could do differently before I jump straight back into work. In years past, I would have stressed over getting back on track with everything, but I’ve decided not to worry this time around.

It would be too much of a push to catch up with three months of missing work and still get what I planned out as well. Since I’m not working for anyone, except myself, and other than one client job, I don’t have anyone relying on me to get stuff done for them, I have time to work at my own pace. Plus, I don’t need the headache of unneeded stress. 😀

So the plan is to start working from the point I’m at going forward at the same pace I had decided would be sustainable and would make me happy. Which leads me to my working on my slightly neglected Etsy Shop at the end of June. I was able to finish the  pattern for the Crocheted Light Woodland Shawl that I started in May. I listed it on Etsy during the last week of June.

Light Woodland Shawl Pattern (Printable PDF) $4.95

If anyone is interested in buying the pattern or a finished shawl from me instead of buying it on Etsy, please email me.

The writing bug bit me in the ass the last week of June and I’ve been itching to tackle the Lost Heir Series. The only reason I put the story aside in the first place is that it wanted to be told a certain way and I doubted my ability to do it at the time.

Recently, I feel confident enough to work on it again. So for the last last few days I’ve been working on updating my Series Binder, tracking the  various story threads and character arcs through the series of books, and writing scenes that inspired me. We’ll see how it is going in about two weeks when I post a update about my writing.

The months without writing have put a few things into perspective for me, like as much as I love writing and being a writer, I don’t like the business side of things. So when I indie publish my stories, it’s for me and those who like my stories. I will not be announcing them anywhere else expect here and on my Facebook Page for those interested.

My Goals for July 2019

There are several things that I hope to accomplish in July and set up for August.

Personal Goals

Take the kids to the pool, library, or the water park at least once a week until School starts again: This isn’t always possible, but I try to take the kids to one of these three places each week. This gives them time to play with other kids and hang out somewhere that isn’t home, with each other, or the temptation of electronic devices.

Get back into the habit of walking once to twice a day: Last year, I had gotten into the habit of going on a walk twice a day. Once the snow started flying, the lane became too dangerous for me to walk down and exercise moved indoors. So far this year, my exercise routine hasn’t moved outside yet and I’m missing it.

Handmade Work Goals

Most of what I need to do include taking photos, writing descriptions, figuring out pricing and shipping prices, and listing several finished items that I’ve taken from my stash. If anyone is interested in purchasing any of the items below from me rather than Etsy, please email me and let me know.

List my Woodland Hoods: I finished several Woodland Hoods for adults and small children, using the yarn in the bowl to the right of the adult size Woodland Hood on my paper mache head below. There are 6 adults and 6 children hoods.

Woodland Hoods: small kids – $25 & adults – $40

Listing Seasonal Place Mats: I’m also going to be adding a listing for the table place mats that I created a pattern for and have had a few requests for them. I want to pick out a few seasonal colors and even sizes to choose from. The prices will vary depending on the size, but the 17” x 12” place mats will be $25 each.

List various dish towels from my stash on Etsy: I love these dish/tea towels and I’m looking forward to them getting to a great home. These hand embroidered towels are stitched on Premium Quality Flour Sack Dish Towels and are larger then the normal at around 32″ x 36″. The Farm Inspired towels that I stitched last year cost $10.97 each while the Frogs that I entered into the County Fair are $70.

   

Listing two cross-stitch projects on Etsy: One is a professional framed project and the other was finished at the beginning of the year and still needs to be framed. I still need to take pictures of them.

Finish the lettering on a set of dish towels and prep them for listing next month: I finally picked out a color for the lettering on the 7 floral dish towels I finished hand embroidering in June.  Thank you everyone who left a comment what they thought the color choice should be on my Facebook Page.

Weekly Flower Dish Towels – $70

Finish the Border of the Full-Sized Octagon Afghan: This is a scrap yarn afghan that I’ve been working on for several years, and started put together last year. It just needs two octagons attached and a border crocheted on. I probably won’t list it until next month.

Sketching out Owl transfers for dish towels: I had a request for a set of owl dish towels that I’m sketching out and looking forward to creating once my towels arrive. If anyone has suggestions for designs for dish towel, let me know below.

I want to finish setting up my Online Shop but…: Since opening my Etsy shop in April, I knew I wanted to create an online shop here on my website too. The process ended up taking more time then I planned and mostly because I’m having a hard time finding a reliable, seamless payment process system that doesn’t cost an arm, a leg, and my first born child. At the moment, I’m not making enough to pay the price they are asking.

Before anyone tells me about the various ecommerce websites or that I can upload a plugin. My website isn’t hosted on a place that accepts plugins with the plan I have. If I want that, I need to pay more and like I mentioned above, I don’t have the money to do that at the moment and make a sustainable business. So I’ll stick with an online shop links to each item’s page and have people to contact me to buy something or buy from Etsy. It wouldn’t be much different from the book cover designing I do.

Writing Goals

Finish editing the Goddess of Love: This book needed editing and I really want to finish it so that I can send it to a better editor then the first one I paid to do it. I’m not sure when this will come back out, but I really want to put it back on the market in August.

Writing The Lost Heir Series: Finish updating my Series Binder, tracking the  various story threads and character arcs through the series of books, and plan out each book so that I know what happens and can utilize the over 186k words already written. Then, if I have time I can start filling in the scenes I need to finish each book and move on.


Now that you know what’s going on in my life and my goals for July, what about you guys? What’s happening with you guys? What goals do you have this month?

Wishing you the best,

Stephannie Beman

PS: Next week’s blog will be all about what books I’ve read (and enjoyed) and what am currently reading.