Written by: Amanda Cottrell, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Have big visions in your head about what you want to achieve but have no idea where to start? Do you know you are meant for more but feel completely overwhelmed by what you do to get to where you want to be? I know how you feel. I have been in that exact position. One of my biggest problems has always been having these big visions and goals but, at the same time, having no idea where to start or how to achieve them.
No matter how big your dream, goal or vision is, you have the power to achieve it. Four years ago, I published my first self-published book on amazon as an indie author. For years I knew I wanted to write children’s books for my classroom, but I had no idea where to start. I knew there were books that I needed that I could create, but I had no idea where to start. I had scribbled down my entire first book draft in a journal and had planned to create it on my Mac, like I do for my photo books each year, and have one copy in my classroom. This was my goal to get one book completed that I could use in my classroom.
If you had told me four years ago that I would write and illustrate seven books in 4 years, I would have thought you were crazy. I would have said that is impossible. I am a single mom, and I work full time as a teacher, there is no way I have the time to commit to that amount of work. However, in four short years, I not only achieved self-publishing seven books, I also have taken courses on learning how to market, co-run a yoga and mindfulness retreat, created a website, started building an Instagram following and many other smaller achievements. How I achieved, this was really simple. I just did a little each day, or even when really busy, a little each week.
Having a vision is the easy part; taking action and continuing the action is where the real work begins. There also has to be a trust and knowing that the right people and opportunities will appear when you are ready for them. When I started working on the illustrations for my first book, someone tagged me in a post on Facebook of an author looking for an illustrator. While I did not end up illustrating for her, I made an amazing connection.
She had been a kindergarten teacher and learned how to self publish on Amazon and was selling over 100 books a day. Meeting her caused a huge shift in my focus. I became completely empowered by this connection and learning that a fellow teacher had self-published and was doing amazing. This shifted my original plan to create one book for my classroom and became a journey to learn to self publish, illustrate and market on amazon. While this journey is far from over, it began by just doing a little each day.
It is just like going to the gym. If you try to work out one day for hours, you will not see any results and you will end up sore and completely exhausted. If you go to the gym a little each day or even a little a few times a week, you will begin to see results. It is the same with your visions and goals. If you spend an entire day working on it, you may end up exhausted and not wanting to look at your project again for months.
However, if you do a little each day or a little a few times a week, the results will be phenomenal at the end of the year. The task for the day could be as simple as making an Instagram post, slowly each day or week, just do a little. You never know where each small act or connection will take you.
Amanda Cottrell, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Believe! Create! Inspire! Amanda Marie Cottrell is a woman who wears many hats with a B.A in Political Science, B.Ed in elementary education, M.Ed specializing in creativity and technology, Reiki master, yoga for young children instructor, artist, mom, author, illustrator and teacher. She also runs an arts-based business teaching art and mindfulness workshops. As an educator of young children for over 14 years, Amanda’s passion is education and creativity. She believes that everyone has creative capacities. Her mission is to empower people through tapping into their own unique creative gifts through connection and mindfulness. Namaste!