74: Amy Oestreicher Uses Her Beautiful Detour Journey to Enlighten Our Mindset as Writers

When you write, be centered on your values, know why you are writing, and be strong on what matters to you.

Today’s guest is Amy Oestreicher, who will share with us her beautiful detour journey to enlighten our mindset as writers. She is an Audie award-nominated playwright, performer, and multidisciplinary creator. A singer, librettist, and visual artist, she dedicates her work to celebrating untold stories and the detours in life that can spark connections and transform communities.

Amy overcame a decade of trauma to become a sought-after PTSD specialist, artist, author, writer for The Huffington Post, international keynote speaker, RAINN representative, and disability advocate. She has given three TEDx Talks on transforming trauma through creativity, and has shared her story on NBC, CBS, ABC, and contributed to over 70 publications on the arts and community transformation.

Amy has toured her musical, Gutless & Grateful, to over 200 venues from 54 Below to Barrington Stage Company since its 2012 NYC debut and premiered her multimedia musical, Passageways (original lyrics, music, book, and mixed media artwork) at HERE Arts Center with the release of her memoir, My Beautiful Detour: An Unthinkable Journey from Gutless to Grateful.

Her plays have been published by Piri Eddy Theatre CompanyPerformer Stuff, Narcissists Anthology, New World Theatre’s “Solitary Voice: A Collection of Epic Monologues,” and were finalists in Manhattan Repertory’s Short Play Festival, NYNW Theatre Fest, #MeTooTheatreWomen, “Women in the Age of Trump,” and Tennessee Williams’s New Orleans Literary Festival and performed across the country by students for immigration festivals, academic projects, and Sexual Assault Prevention Month.

She is the founder of “LoveMyDetour,” a campaign creating seminars, workshops, curriculum, books, music, and performances designed to entertain, educate, and engage on the intersection of arts and social justice, is part of the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military.

Need more guidance on a positive change and positive mindset? Check out Amy at www.amyoes.com.

Amy Oestreicher Uses Her Beautiful Detour Journey to Enlighten Our Mindset as Writers

Two things she shares:

1. CT Authors Trail: Thrilled to be part of this year’s Connecticut Author Trail! Join her for a virtual event at Tolland Library (but through our screens of course) August 5th at 6:30 pm. She’ll be discussing my memoir “My Beautiful Detour: An Unthinkable Journey from Gutless to Grateful,” the strategies for resilience we could all use, especially now.

2. “Step Into Joy“ – she’s leading a series of six zoom workshops and participatory prompts on claiming your own walking practice, exploring Walking as Art, as Meditation, and Connection. In this series, she’ll introduce you to fun, creative prompts, using your “superhero five senses” to experience walking as your go-to guide and a never-ending source of joy, play, resilience, and discovery. You’ll experience the world like you never had before and find that the biggest gifts are right under our noses – and feet.

Tips about setting up our positive mindset as writers:

When you write, be centered on your values, know why you are writing, and be strong on what matters to you.”

When Amy was so uninspired, she just started making a list from A to Z and just made herself write one thing that she was grateful for in every letter. She did that to give her some kind of structure because she thinks when we’re lost sometimes, the structure helps. Do that every day, and after a few months, when you look back on those entire lists you made, you’ll realize that “when you know what you’re grateful for, you will know what your values are and what’s important to you.” That really helped give her a map moving forward. Just active writing is a good practice in itself, like even a small little writing practice and you’ll create a good habit and mindset automatically. That will get us into good habits moving forward and help us propel a good mindset as writers.

The power of story – read as many stories as you can because you’ll start to trace those artsy types of patterns and story strokes. She had no map for herself but following the steps from the stories like Star Wars really gave her structure for her life. She didn’t have a plan forward. There’s so much we can learn from the stories around us, like stories from people around us. “Start asking more questions, be curious. Everyone does have a story to tell.” Even when writers are trying to get a new freelance client, the number one mindset you have to do is to listen. Listen to their struggles and pain because everybody is different.

Four steps in Resilience she shares in her workshops that will help you develop a mindset :
  1. Gratitude
  2. Stories
  3. Creativity
  4. Hope

I really appreciate Amy and her connection with the audience. And I really appreciate her for sharing all her tips to have a proper mindset as writers with us. 


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