I have a lot of goals, but I also like to support the goals of other intentional writers and creators. In order to do that, I’ve decided to start including more interviews from those in the trenches who are inspiring, helpful, and or experts in their field. It’s my hope these goal post interviews can help you achieve your goals, and show you that anything is possible.
Today is my interview with the AH-MAZING Amy Oestreicher, who is inspiration incarnate. She is tireless in her pursuit of sharing her story and I’m so grateful she agreed to the interview!
Interview with Amy Oestreicher
Amy, I love your story and your work because you’re really driven to make the world a better place. How does that drive influence your work ethic? Your goals?
As I say in my one-woman show, Gutless and Grateful, “Whatever I do, I tend to do obsessively!” Once I decided what I wanted – to get my story out there in the hope that it might inspire others, that is what I devoted myself to. There is no easy answer to success – it’s just hard work. My advice would be to never give up. Persistence. In every respect. Keep going, never giving up, even when I was exhausted or overwhelmed by the idea of what I wanted to accomplish. I literally was a girl waking up from a coma trying to find her place in a big world. I didn’t know where to start. So I just started somewhere – anywhere. And just kept going from there – blindly at first, but eventually finding a focus, and then just following it intently. Persistence softened with a faith that with that determination, I would get there.
What goals do you have for your work this next year?
This year has been such a whirlwind! Actually, I’ve just put a fun reel together of everywhere I’ve toured with my speaking and performance you can see here. I never expected that a little show that premiered in a NYC theater in 2012 would talk me across the country to colleges, headlining conferences, even a TEDx talk! Next year, I’m planning on more of the same. I also have my book coming out, My Beautiful Detour. I’m set to present at a few conferences and do my show at some more colleges. I hope to keep creating my art and hopefully be selling more of my prints as inspirational cards and prints and such. And most importantly, I’m finishing up my fourth and final year at Hampshire College! The Fall will be spent in an intensive musical theater program at National Theater Institute, so my hands will be full – oh actually, the most important thing will be celebrating the second year of marriage with my amazing husband. Besides Gutless and Grateful, I’m also continuing to workshop my full-length, semi-autobiographical play, Imprints, which is having its first staged reading open to the public this month!
You’ve really blown up in the last year! I see your work everywhere. What strategies have you used to increase your reach?
Again, I always feel bad saying this to people, because I get asked all of the time, like there is a Magic Answer – but there’s not. I am probably not the greatest at life balance, I admit. I don’t stop working. I research, reach out, and work constantly. I hope to learn how to relax a bit to in the future, even if it means missing out on some opportunities!
What was the moment where you found things really took off?
Hmm…hard to answer. Well, literally, as soon as I got off my intravenous nutrition after not being able to eat for six years – once I had no IV’s to be hooked up to, you could never get a hold of me! Ha-ha! But seriously, I don’t think it was one moment. It was a steady stream of hard work where I made sure but steady progress…but I think being on the Today Show in 2011 definitely helped to get my name out there. But that was just as an “inspiring story” – performing Gutless and Grateful for the first time was really my way of ME telling my story, and that was a very powerful feeling.
What are your main traffic sources to your site? Are there changes from time to time? If so, what causes those fluctuations?
Definitely – Brandon, my amazing husband – is the brains behind my website, and so he was just telling me my latest stats. It’s fun to see what countries are my top sources – it changes every month! It really depends on what I’m doing that month – for example, my blog posts did great when I was in all of the Facebook groups, but then I was posting so much I started to get blocked and so that dwindled, but then that actually gave me the focus to get the heck off of Facebook and start really focusing on booking my show, which in the long-term, served me much better!
How do you land all your appearances?
The word “land” makes me squeamish. I’ve never “landed” anything. Everything I’ve done, I’ve had to work for – very hard – and sometimes, that’s not always the best thing in the long run, as I mentioned before – I am long overdue for relaxing, I admit, but when I looked through old journal entries, when I was going through everything and was really struggling, I see that all I wanted was to get my story out there, in the hope that it could help others. So I think that is the “manic” and very fervent drive that pushes me to not stop. What I’ve learned from all of this is if you have a dream, you can do it – I’ve heard that obviously, but I think my work ethic and my passion really proved that to myself. Also, I am on social media all the time – Facebook, Pinterest, anything I learn about, constant website updates – and lots of research. Finding out who I can network with and sending our literally hundreds of emails. Time consuming, but many times, very worth it – you never know…
if you had any piece of advice to other intentional writers and those of us working to make the world better through our art, what would it be?
Start small, but hard and tediously. Never lose focus, even if you have to put projects on the back-burner – always keep your intention in your mind’s eye.
Also, if I can start up a business, then anyone can. After years of being isolating and only conversing with my parents and doctors for seven years, it was difficult figuring out how to get back into the professional world
of networking again. I wasn’t sure how to get out there. I was intimidated by the world of theater and felt as though I didn’t know how to form connections. So I did it the old-fashioned way. Posting flyers everywhere humanly possible, researching the contact information of every news source I could get my hands on, and spreading my name shamelessly wherever I could. There were no shortcuts and it wasn’t easy. But it was worth it. It taught be valuable lessons about publicity and business, and I created connections that were truly invaluable.
How can we connect with you online?
My website, where I blog daily, has a contact form as well as an option to subscribe to my newsletter: www.amyoes.com
Sometimes when I read about everything Amy is doing, I feel like I need a nap.
Still, it gives me inspiration to continue doing the things I’m doing. Amy had to overcome incredible obstacles in order to get to where she is today. She’s committed to getting her story out there to inspire others to be awesome in their unique way. She even has a way you can do that on her site through her #LoveMyDetour initiative. I’ve even contributed. You can check out my post here. After you’re done reading, think about sharing your own story (and share it with me!)!
This week I’m taking my cue from Amy. My main goal is to push myself to get my message out there more. I have a few ideas of ways to do that:
Revamped social media strategies
Syndicated blog content
Guest posting on other sites
Reaching out to those with similar messages
What are your plans this week? How are you sharing your message or living your purpose? Leave a comment below!
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