• Kaaren Poole

Risky, Brave, FOMO?

For the past three years, I’ve been focused on writing and illustrating my animal fiction books. I’ll publish the fifth one this fall and I just received my sixth on back from my editor day. (This illustration is from the second book, Dark Days at Milkweed Manor.)



So, all in all, not counting the many months everything was on hold due to my cross-country move, I’ve maintained my focus pretty well. But now it’s facing a challenge.

Early this year, I applied to be a guest teacher in a very popular year-long art-video program organized by Tamara Laporte. She’s the lead artist as well as the organizer of Life Book 2023. The course will be in its twelfth year.


I wanted to apply last year but didn’t have the courage. But this year, in a fleeting moment of bravery, I jumped in. I reasoned that even in the unlikely event that I was accepted, I could surely do three videos throughout the year without impacting my writing and illustrating. And maybe my participation in Life Book 2023 could help me promote my books to a larger audience, although I admit it wasn’t clear how much overlap there would be between the Life Book audience (large) and the audience for animal fiction (still unclear to me, but seemingly small). Anyway, I applied, with a secret hope for acceptance but an understanding it was unlikely.


I WAS accepted. I was OVER THE MOON and I still am. These are photos of two of my videos that will be in the free Taster sessions for Life Book 2023. (The Taster sessions are promotion for the full Life Book 2023.)






But then something surprising happened.


It occurred to me maybe I should do more art videos and market them on my own. After all, participation in Life Book 2023 will give me exposure and a great opportunity to grow my e-mail list. As I was mulling that one over, I received an email invitation to Amy Porterfield’s free “Master Class” on developing, marketing, and launching an on-line course. I put it on my calendar, and was excited to watch it, even though I knew I wouldn’t be succumbing to the inevitable advertising.


But of course I was wrong. My resolve to not be taken in by expert marketing crumbled. I signed up.


I’m pleased to report I haven’t had any buyer’s remorse. The class lasts nine weeks, and in that time I intend to complete my lead magnet and my first course. Aside from feeling this is my perfect opportunity to get into creating and marketing my own on-line art classes, it’s just really exciting. And I’m determined to not get sucked into a venture that isn’t fun or can’t sustain itself financially. So, I think all will be well.


Meanwhile, I intend to continue working writing and illustrating animal fiction, though probably not as intensively as in the last three years.


So, am I doing something risky? I don’t think so. I’m creating a budget I can live within, and will set a goal for when this new venture needs to be self-supporting or left behind.

Am I being brave? Maybe a little, but I’m convinced this is a golden opportunity, and it’s not brave to take advantage of one. But it’s definitely not brave to let it go by.


Is it FOMO? Only in a good, thoughtful way.


By the way, the second and third photos are of the projects for my video in the free Life Book 2023 Taster Sessions running Sept. 25 through Oct 9. Follow this link if you’d like to register in the free event. Each of the 30 participating artists will be giving a class and have a free gift.

https://www.willowing.org/life-book-2023-taster-sessions-sign-up/?id=110

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