Toastmaster Project 10: The Journey

Good evening, Ladies and gentlemen. I want to thank each and every one of you for making time to attend my book signing in Singapore.  It’s great to be back here after being away in New York for three years since 2017.

The book that I have written, called ‘Recipes of life’ has won a couple of book awards – One as a New York bestselling author and one as a self-published author. Let’s look at some of the reviews.

It took me 10 years to get to where I am now. The reason why I started writing was because I wanted to document down summaries of the self-development books that I have read. Then I found WordPress, an online community where bloggers write and upload their works for free. After a few posts, I was getting loads of comments. The insecurities I was working through were resonating with strangers online. That was how powerful the online community is! We support one another because we believe!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have struggled to make a difference. I have felt appalled whenever I thought of the civilized world not needing what I have to offer. I have been frustrated by people’s apathy and my own inability to communicate the importance of something that matters to me.

My fellow toastmasters, writing is a fulfilling yet a very lonely process. It’s very isolating because you’re just by yourself. You have to be very self-motivated and get the work done and sometimes you just don’t, and that’s bad.

But what I have also learned, that with resounding hope, my writing does make a difference. There were occasions whereby I had readers commenting that my writings do relate to them and that I should write more.

That little push, however small was enough a catalyst, a spark that propelled and fuelled me to write my own book. I started to write about my own life experiences and came out with a framework on how we can motivate ourselves and fight on. I wrote to multiple publishing companies but received rejections one after another. It felt like I was in high school back again trying to find a date for prom. Hence, I decided to publish my own book. I printed twenty copies and started to distribute them to guests that I met during my university alumni events. I also made the craziest but by far my smartest decision in 2017 to move to New York, the land where the world’s best writers live and thrive.

My dear friends, to me, the self-promotion part is the most difficult thing I had to do (well apart from doing my own laundry and learning to cook every single day. Oh god, I missed my mum) as I was saying, the most difficult part was self-promoting myself, and my book, to get my name out there. Constantly having to go on social media and meeting representatives from publishing companies to talk about myself is very embarrassing experience. I feel so ashamed saying, “Please, read my book!”

You know the feeling of that moment between action and consequence, eternal and fleeting. It’s when whatever you did has occurred but the reaction is yet to come. The seed of embarrassment gets wedged inside me ready to blossom red upon your cheeks.  That experience, ladies and gentlemen, was my personal hall of shame. I have never thought in my entire life, that I had to do a sales pitch.

I thought I was done after I self- published my book. I was so wrong. One fateful day, a representative from a publishing company called to tell me that my book was the most googled book online and she encouraged me to enter the competition ‘Writers Digest Self Published book awards’. I have won two awards since then.

But the most important lesson that I have learnt is that all is matters are the words you write. Nothing else. When you do your thing, it doesn’t matter (and it shouldn’t) what others are going to think about it. You should stop worrying whether have something to say or if people will read it or people will like your work. But it’s about saying in your voice. And that is something we all have.

My dear friends, I urge you to write because its liberating. I persuade you to write because you are unique and I want you to write because no other person who came before you or who will come after you will ever, ever be able to do it in quite the same way that you can.

As Winston Churchill once said, we make a living by what we earn, but we make a life by what we give.”

Take a leap of faith and start writing, wherever you are, tonight. Thank you.


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