PORT MORESBY - Not knowing where my journey in writing would take me, I kept brushing away the idea of getting my long overdue collection of poems published. One reason: Fear.
Fear that people may not like my poems. Fear that I may not have the money to pay for publication. Fear of what other people would say about me.
I had a colleague who discovered my talent in writing and introduced me to the Crocodile Prize literary competition in 2013. The journey from then gave me a whole new perception.
When I realised that people liked my writing, I became so determined to improve.
As I told in my recent interview with Betty Wakia, ‘Choose to rise above every circumstance,’ I tried networking with other writers.
It wasn’t easy because I had a demanding job, but I made every opportunity count. I wrote for websites, blogs, participated in writing prompts and created my own blog.
One of my favourite poems I submitted to the Spillwords website, ‘Slow Down’, is targeted at workaholics and busy-bees who stress themselves day in and day out as if their trying to save the world. I used to be like that too.
Through the Crocodile Prize and Keith Jackson, I was introduced to Rashmii Amoa Bell and ‘My Walk to Equality’, the first ever collection of PNG women’s writing.
My story of how I was once a village girl, ‘Run hard - & don't look back until you achieve your goal’, inspired a good number of readers and that was another wake up call for me.
I wanted to inspire more people, especially young girls and people who travel to city in search of education and better life. I wanted to show them that you don’t have to follow the crowd all the time.
You can step aside, choose your own path, take your own journey, and write your own story.
The publication of my poetry collection, ‘Nanu Sina: My Words’, is by far my greatest achievement in my writing journey.
Apart from the publication of children’s story books I authored for Library for All, ‘Nanu Sina’ is very much my sweat and toil. If you ask me how I feel about it, my response would be, ‘it’s like I am living in my dreams’.
I want the same experience to be felt by more and more young people. I want them to know that you don’t necessarily have to be so smart and intelligent to be able to achieve something in your life. It takes courage and determination to pursue your dreams.
The little steps you take each day get bigger and bigger. And, for anyone who has a passion for writing, do develop it.
There is a great need for Papua New Guinean writers. School libraries need books that tell stories about our cultures, traditions, legends, myths, values and beliefs. Becoming a writer should be one of your dreams.
I had the privilege of sharing my stories with the kids at Koro International School at the school library last Wednesday. The response from the students was impressive and they wanted to know if there are other Papua New Guinean writers.
I will be reaching out to school principals in the coming weeks to do a similar presentation to all schools in Port Moresby.
You never know where your passion can take you until you start paying attention to it. Find it, embrace it, take the risk and run with it.