Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest Advice Column: Tina L. Hook

Guest Advice Column is the place where we will bring people who are an inspiration to us and who have something to share with our crowd. This is the place where they offer tips, advices, and ways to let us keep swimming towards our dreams. 

And, today we bring to you our very first guest Tina L. Hook in our Guest Advice Column. (Boy! are we excited!!!)

Picture Used with Permission from Tina L. Hook
-Image Courtesy of Tina L. Hook

Tina is a generous writer, a great support, and a perfect blogger friend. She has got her first book published- Enchanted by Starlight. If that title doesn't make it alluring, we don't know what does! We asked Tina to share with us her experience as an author- how she managed to stay sane during those grueling months of writing and then later on publishing. 

Tina is one of those people who write with a sense of alacrity, rendering her readers with a vivid and live experience of her characters. We still remember her Disappearing Girl- a piece, which we go back to whenever we are struggling with words.   

We leave you with this amazing person and author. 

And, don't forget...

Enchanted by Starlight is now available on Amazon. In stores in July.

She also writes at (Fl) Girl with a New Life.

She is also available on Twitter and Facebook.
Writer for Life. My Best Advice. 

When Rathi asked me to write this post I was thrilled, and not because I deem myself to be anyone of great importance, because I don’t. Rather, I was thrilled because Rathi is an important part of my online writing community. I care about her words, and about the vulnerable soul she manages to express through them. I look forward to her comments on my blog each month, and savor the moments when she is inspired by what I have to offer. Rathi is part of the tribe that cheers me on and motivates me to keep writing, and that is something every writer needs.

"Solitude, competitiveness and grief are the unavoidable lot of a writer only when there is no organization or network to which she can turn."—Toni Morrison

When I think about the engine that powers me through my writing I often come back to this quote from Toni Morrison. While it is true that writing is a solitary act, it can be difficult to impossible to navigate it alone for the long haul. If you want to turn your writing into a life long pursuit, this is my greatest advice to you. Build a community.

Whether your writing tribe is an online community of many or an in-person group of two, writers benefit from the support of other writers. We hold each other accountable. We inspire one another to keep going.  When our own passions dim with self doubt, which they will, we can lean on the enthusiasm of our tribe to buoy us up again. And when the day comes when your work goes out live to the world, your writing community will be the first to devour it, celebrate it, and pass it along to their friends.

I should add here that building a writerly community is not a piece of cake. Creative people are sensitive creatures, and we don’t always react well to critique, even when it’s constructive. Add to that, we don’t always know how to deliver critiques in the way that they need to be heard—with gentle consideration. At times, unfortunately, we measure the success of another as a measure of our own inadequacy. For these reasons the members of your tribe will come and go. Some will come back and others never will. Don’t allow this to discourage you. Wish them well and continue your work.

Being as that we humans are insecure, we sometimes flock to groups where our work will be more easily praised instead of challenged, and wilt from writers we presume to be better than us. I say do the opposite. Embrace as many great writers as possible; they will become your mentors. Support the dreams of the fellow writers in your tribe, and they will return the favor.

Picture Used with Permission from Tina L. Hook
-Image Courtesy of Tina L. Hook

An excerpt from Enchanted by Starlight.


My name is Grace.  Tomorrow is my wedding day.

Staring across the dark waters of the Gulf, I am uncertain.  I am exhausted and hopeful.  I am both completely in love and irreparably heartbroken.

After these long months attending to the minutia, the black and white stationery, the elegant table settings, the tropical flowers, the chocolate dessert course—I suddenly find myself detached from it completely and, now, with the night sky rising up around me, I have surrendered myself to the deeper implications.  I am standing in the moment that has defined my life.  I am finally here and yet so much has been lost.

It was a delicious ache that lured me from my bed tonight, drawing me out beneath the cobweb of stars.  Liam’s memory teases me, calling from the water’s edge as if he might materialize there, simply by my wanting him to.  I thought for sure I had pushed him so far back into my mind that I had forced him away for good.  Still, as much as he has denied me, as much as I have refused my heart, it seems he is determined to make an impression on this day.  Agonizing really, how enduring love can be.  Even after you have packed it up and put it away, it is still there—always there, yellowing around the edges and begging you to turn its pages again.

Ask Tina your questions in our comments section. 


  1. Thanks for the encouraging words Tina. I love her blog mingle and it's a good way to meet new, kind and awesome bloggers.

    her comments on my blog inspired me a lot especially on my photo blog. Knowing that someone is really looking forward to see a photo is a great reason for me to continue.

  2. Your words are so powerful, Tina. Thank you for sharing and inspiring :)

  3. Thank you for having me! Cheers to the community you are building here.