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

What I’m Writing

I wish I could say that I got more done on the writing front this month, but sadly  my focus was torn between working on listings for my Etsy shop, the changes going on with Etsy, some orders that I needed to work on, finally getting to weeding the flower bed and fertilizing the rose bushes, and my kids.

My two writing goals in July were:

1. Writing The Lost Heir Series

I did work on updating my Series Binder for The Lost Heir Series, but I kinda ran out of steam when I got to the character bios. My character bios have always been simple and basic, mostly how the character looks, dresses, possible family connections, and any idiosyncrasies that pop up that I should be aware of. There are very few changes that need to be made to the bios that I figured could be done while I’m writing.

The next thing I wanted to accomplish and only half did was tracking the  various story threads and character arcs through the series of books in the hopes of being able to plan out each book so that I know what happens and can utilize the over 186k words already written. This is going to take more time then I thought for two reasons: the kids are distracting and still need mom’s help to cook meals (this is something they are still learning to do) and I need to make sure that each book is a complete story.

I ended up putting this aside, probably until September when the haying is done and the kids are in school, so that I can take the time I need to figure things out.

2. Finish editing Loving the Goddess of Love

I definitely didn’t complete this one, but I did get a few chapters edited this month and finalized the cover art and title change. There was a lot more wrong with the editing of this book then I first thought and it makes me cringe that I paid two different editors to edit this book and they did a horrible job of it!

The plan is to continue working on editing this book until I can send it to an editor that I trust to fix my improper use of commas. At this time, I’m not sure when this will come back out as writing is my passion project more than my focus at the moment, but it is starting to look like it will be closer to November.

Wishing you all the best,

Stephannie Beman

 

Reviving the Children of Khaos Series

Yep! I’m bringing the Children of Khaos Series to life in a way that I didn’t really plan on.

Children of Khaos Series, Series Banner

Early last year, I was ready to throw the series into a drawer and start over with my writing in every way possible. By December 2017, I realized that the series deserved more respect then that. And, there are a few fans who have written me letters asking where My Lord Hades went and when is it coming back.

(I will email those who have been asking me about the book when I republish it.)

I want to take a moment to thank all those who have send emails of encouragement. You guys are the greatest! You’ve also inspired me to not only bring the Children of Khaos Series back, but write another book in the series.

But that isn’t all. I also plan to add more books.

Why did I decide to do this after swearing to never write another Children of Khaos book? Well, it wasn’t just because there are readers out their wanting more stories.

As I was working on my plans to resurrect a few books and breathe fresh air into others, I made the mistake  of starting with Death’s Lover. Even though it is the third book in the series, it had the least amount of work that needed to be done as it was the first that I had edited by one of the best editors I’ve worked with.

Reading Death’s Lover made me fall in love with the series all over again. I will confess that it is my favorite book in the entire series and it really made me want to bring the other two books up to the same level.  Plus I found a ton of teasers for future books hidden inside its pages that only add fuel to the creative fire.

That means I needed to add a few more to-dos to my ever growing to-do list. Over the next few weeks I’m going to:

  • Finish my read through of My Lord Hades (Lauralynn Elliot edited this book last year for me and I went through the edits at the time, but still felt something was a little off.). I will be tweaking some of the scenes for better clarity and removing a few that don’t need to be there.
  • Work on the rewrites of Loving the Goddess of Love and send it to my favorite editor to clean up. This book will not only gain several new scenes, but will also get a new book cover and title. I was never a fan of the original title and have wanted to change it for years now but I really didn’t have an idea what to name it. Now I do. And no I’m not going to share it with y’all yet.
  • Make notes for more stories while reading through the books, including scenes and notes for Beloved Kora.
  • Put together the front and back matter for this series so that it has an uniformed look.
  • Redo the interior formatting of Death’s LoverMy Lord Hades, and Loving the Goddess of Love, because for some reason the formatting for My Lord Hades is a little wonky.
  • Plan and design the look I want for the Children of Khaos book covers and redo all the covers. Some are getting a complete makeover, while others more of a upgrade.

I’m not sure how long this will take me, but they are near the top of my to-do list for my writing just below actually writing book #1 of the Sara Greenway Series.

Wishing you all the best!

Stephannie Beman