“If you go fishing, your catch will be plentiful.”
I found this saying inside a fortune cookie at the end of 2016.
The most important word to me was “if,” and this saying seems to have perfectly summed up the first year of my small business, Oscar Astoria.
No one is guaranteed a catch, but if you put yourself out there (even a little) you’ll probably catch something in your net. . .
Although I’m 4 months late wrapping up 2016, I can say that ‘putting myself out there’ creatively was at times terrifying and at times exhilarating.
Here is some of the ‘fishing’ I did out in the world:
- self published 2 coloring books
- held a book opening
- organized a local authors’ book fair
- approached retail locations to sell my book
- created a poetry book during a writers residency
- read said deeply personal poetry book in public
- became a freelance writer for Coast Weekend
- was a presenter at a retreat for adult women
- met an inspirational author
Probably one of the scariest things I did was read my poetry book in front of an audience, followed by approaching local retailers to carry my book. I now have my book in 6 retail locations and did not die while reading my poetry book–although I felt like I could have fainted for sure.
One of the coolest things I did this year was present at “Coastal Emersion,” the first annual Womens Coastal Retreat at Camp Kiwanalong in Warrenton, Oregon.
It was my first time presenting to adults, who were attentive and quiet during my writing and collage workshop! HA!
I also got to meet Shannon Kaiser and her mother, Laura. I read her book Adventures for the Soul when it was given to me by a friend. It was just what I needed to change my perspective on my life at the time, and the book is full of highlights and underlines and scribbles in the margins!
While I was just getting my creative business going, my life took a very unexpected good (but good) turn at the end of 2016 and I was fortunate enough to go back to full time teaching in a much better situation than before. I also started programming Womens’ Music again for KMUN after a many year hiatus.
I love that my teaching career dovetails with my writing, and I try to bring what I learn from my creative endeavors outside the classroom to my students in the classroom and vice versa.
I have also promised that I will not let go of ‘the thread’–the thread of passion and creativity that runs through my life. For a long time, I let this part of me die, and I will never let this happen again. Even if one person loves my coloring books or is inspired by my poetry, I’m okay.
My next adventure is selling my coloring books and screen printed bags at the Sunday Market this summer!
I have learned to be more grateful for my hauls in life when I do have the courage to go fishing. I am more than grateful for everything this year has brought and continues to bring and I’m going to keep casting my net far and wide!
And I will always be inspired and excited when I get these pictures of my “fans” coloring my books!!!!!