Surprisingly Interesting in 2020 📒

By: Lee LeFever

I write books and run a company called Common Craft. I recently moved from Seattle to a rural island. Here, I write about online business, book publishing, modern home construction, and occasionally, dumb jokes.

The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain.


When I was home with my parents for Christmas, an idea started to percolate. Over the last year, my mom’s health prevented her from checking email regularly and she wasn’t able to keep up with my posts on Ready for Rain. She often asked what I was writing about and I started to look for ways to solve that problem.

The idea was this: what if I formatted all 52 posts from 2019 as a book that could be bound and printed? This way, my mom could have a hard copy version of my year. Over a few days, I worked with a book designer in the Philippines to turn the posts into a single document. Then, I had it printed and bound at a Staples store to create this:

On Christmas morning, I gave her the book and she was overjoyed. Finally, she could catch up on all the things I’d been writing about. After I flew back to Seattle, a member of my family said that her caregiver had been reading it to her. Hearing that meant so much to me.

About two weeks after my visit, on January 5th, my mom passed away at home at the age of 80. She lived a long, wonderful life and I’m so happy I spent Christmas at home with my parents.

Dolores LeFever (1939-2019)

My mother was someone who lived her life to the fullest. When I think about her wishes for my 2020, I know that she would want me to work hard, enjoy life and take time to be with loved ones. I wish the same for you.


Before we get to my plans for 2020, a couple of things to wrap up 2019:

Note: You can email the file to your Kindle

When I started Ready for Rain over a year ago, we had big plans and a lot of ambiguity. It seemed like many of our goals came with an asterisk that indicated doubt or uncertainty. And that was part of the fun. I loved writing about the planning phase of the project, overcoming challenges, and what it was like to see the pieces fall into place.

In 2019, you saw us purchase a yurt-shaped house, move out of Seattle, become Orcas Island residents, tear down the yurt-shaped house, move into a guest house and start a new house project. It was an eventful year to say the least. But what you saw was still only part of the big picture. In the background, we were running a business and starting new projects.

For example, in my final post of 2019 I wrote that I plan to be an author of multiple books. What I didn’t mention is I’ve been working on my second book and it will be published in May of this year. You, dear reader, are the first to hear about it.

At heart, the book tells the story of our company, Common Craft. We decided over a decade ago that quality of life is what mattered to us. With this in mind, we built Common Craft to be successful, but not take over our lives. The story is about a saner, healthier way to think about owning and running a business. The book is called Big Enough – Building a Business that Scales with Your Lifestyle.

When I started writing about the house’s construction, I knew that steel beams and concrete footings weren’t for everyone, and I took it as a challenge. My goal was (and still is!) to make the house project unexpectedly interesting and help you see how the pieces fit together.

I plan to take the same approach with Big Enough. Like a building project, I think the process of writing, designing, and publishing a book is fascinating and in 2020, I plan to share the project with you and make it unexpectedly interesting. Hopefully, in the next year, we’ll see both the book and house fall into place.

As always, I would love to hear from you. Just hit reply to say hello.

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