Teine Sāmoa (ebook) Lessons

How did you publish Teine Sāmoa? What steps did you take? What did you learn and what are your next steps? These are some of the questions I have been messaged, emailed and asked from teachers, students and supporters of my recent ebook, Teine Sāmoa. And because sharing our learning for others to win is just the island way #MorePasifikaAuthorsNeeded here are my top 5 lessons from Teine Sāmoa so far –

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Accidental Writing 101: ‘Teine Sāmoa’, the book.

CONGRATULATIONS to Azalia Le-Valasi Samasoni – the winner of our Mila’s Cover Model Competition. Fa’afetai tele lava to her mother and photographer, Anita Peniata, for sending through this stunning picture for our Teine Sāmoa book cover.

Over this lockdown period I wrote. A lot. Reflections, articles, poems. And across 7 days, I accidentally wrote a book – Teine Sāmoa.

It all started off by reflecting on my own teine Sāmoa journey which was published by e-tangata last year, ‘Don’t you want to be Sāmoan?’, and the overwhelming response to this article. The countless number of messages and emails. People sharing vivid recounts of their own experiences which told the same story:
– Not knowing our Sāmoan language or elements of our Sāmoan culture.
– Being told they were not Sāmoan enough.
– Being told that being Sāmoan was not good enough.
– Not being supported in developing cultural confidence or knowledge and being embarrassed by or shamed for this.
– Turning away from our Sāmoan language and culture due to any/some/all of the above, when all they longed for was to be supported, included and accepted as Sāmoan.

Continue reading “Accidental Writing 101: ‘Teine Sāmoa’, the book.”

Lesona 1: Just write and write everyday.

Since last year, I had heard this first lesson about 10 times by different experienced authors and editors – Just start. Just write. Write Everyday.

My main reasons for not writing everyday (besides denying I was an author in the first place #AnotherLongStory) used to be – Why should I write? Write about what? And when do I write? With what time?

But since I’ve started not thinking about it and just doing it, I’ve actually found huge benefits for writing everyday and it’s helped me to answer these initial queries #Excuses I had above.

So here’s what I’ve realised and why I should write everyday –

Continue reading “Lesona 1: Just write and write everyday.”