I started 2017 with only one event booked into the calendar. Then it got cancelled. Bugger.
However, by at the end of the year, I’d jammed that calendar so full of wild and crazy experiences and events that I didn’t have any time to scratch my bum. With a little bit of magic and a lot of hard work, 2017 turned into one of my most amazing yet.
Dreams don’t happen by sitting on the couch.
To make it more interesting than me blowing my own trumpet about what I’ve done, I’ll show you a brief ‘what’ and ‘how’ example of how these key events took shape so you can see that anybody can do this stuff.
We rocked our creative agency, Outside Creative
We grew our client base over the year and that includes partnering with a Perth based advertising agency. We lived and breathed our ‘Outside’ mantra and took the laptops everywhere from Margaret River to Kalgoorlie to write. Our scope of work has expanded dramatically and by creating new contacts and new leads we’ll continue to grow in 2018.
- We were willing to try new types of work and expand our skill sets.
- We stuck to our ‘good quality at all times’ and 24 hour turnaround policy.
- Work smarter not harder (yet not be afraid to put in the hard work)
- If you’re going to work hard, you may as well do it at a nice beachside café.
- We constantly listened to podcasts such as Unemployable and the Tim Ferriss Show for ideas and inspiration.
I wrote a new kids book.
I started writing It’s OK to Feel the Way You Do’ in late 2016 and submitted the final manuscript to my publisher Big Sky Publishing in June. It was out in the bookshops by September and it’s selling very well. The reviews from industry professionals have been fantastic but better still the feedback from parents and kids has been amazing. The book is making a huge difference.
- I worked every spare moment on the project.
- I consulted industry professionals and took onboard feedback.
- I developed a marketing strategy with the help of my publisher and reached out to many bloggers, reviewers and organisations associated with education and mental health.
- I promoted the book far and wide on social media through my author platform and personal pages.
I took #beingyouisenough to more places
I took the #Beingyouisenough show to a heap more schools this year. I went as far south as Denmark and across to the Kalgoorlie for a four-day stint. I even got flown to Leinster to talk to the Kindy, Primary and High school kids. Book Week in August was spent at John XXIII in Perth (my first bookweek gig) and I was part of the Children’s authors line up at the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival and at Telling Tales Children’s event in Balingup. I finished off the year giving an inspirational graduation speech at the year 6’s at North Beach Primary school.
- At the start of the year I emailed a large chunk of schools in regional WA to garner interest in an incursion.
- I emailed the Telling Tales Committee to see if I could be part of the line-up. Seeing as I now had a higher profile, they were keen and I ended up running one of the most popular sessions
- I kept up a high social media presence as I wanted to bring people along for the ride.
An exciting new venue started in Bunbury, Milligan Common, and they were looking to run workshops and presentations on all sort of subjects, so a friend put our names forward. I did a solo talk on Ghosts and the Afterlife based on my non fiction books and a pep talk on creativity. Andy and I teamed up for a workshop on How to Get Published which went down extremely well.
- Because giving talks is what I love doing, I actively pursued the opportunity. I pushed all shyness aside and went for it.
- I developed the talks and workshops from scratch.
New book on Creativity
I finished the manuscript for a new pocket book on creativity and how to work with your creative muse. I pitched it to a few publishers and was delighted when my current one said they’d love to publish it. The book should be out by mid 2018 and it will be supported by an online workshop.
“It’s a pocket sized book with quick punchy chapters filled with personal insights, musings, slap in the face advice and examples of what other people are doing all designed to empower the reader to feel they can be creative too. Topics include: Get rid of perfectionism, You don’t need talent, You’re going to die, so you may as well make art and You can be happy and be creative.”
- There’s no getting past the fact a book doesn’t write itself.
- I also spent ages researching publishers, submission guidelines and book proposals.
Creativity and self-expression.
I started painting in my abstract style again after a hiatus of about 10 years, and I dabbled a little more in finger painting work (I know that sounds quite wrong). I also created two short philosophical films. When the muse comes calling, you can’t ignore her.
To Fall Asleep in the Arms of God
The Jumping off Point
- I just did it.
From what was initially looking like a quiet year, everything just went mad. I wonder what 2018 will look like?
Let’s do this.
A big thank you to everyone who helped make 2017 bloody awesome.