Rolling Out

Tina Divina discusses new book, ‘Unlearning: The Art of Mindful Positivity’

The author and creative says her latest book ‘is a deeply personal exploration of savoring life’s moments’
Tina Divina
Photo Credit: Tina Divina

Tina Divina is a woman of many talents. A native of Detroit who now resides in sunny California, the creative wears many hats, including being a professional accountant, chef, event planner and writer.

Rolling out recently spoke with the four-time published author to learn more about her craft and her latest book, Unlearning: The Art of Mindful Positivity.

How did you discover your gift for writing?
I hated my high school history class but the teacher offered extra credit to creatively write about a particular history subject, so I decided to write a poem. She loved it so much that she featured it on the chalkboard. From that day forward, I’d write more poems for class and get as much extra credit as I could. Also in high school, I was tall, skinny, and awkward so none of the boys that I liked liked me and the only way that I found to express myself was through writing poetry. It became an outlet and when boys found out I could write, it became an attraction. I’ve been writing ever since as a means of expression whether poetic, or journaling, or creative.

Please tell us about your latest book, Unlearning: The Art of Mindful Positivity.
Unlearning is a deeply personal exploration of savoring life’s moments, both the joyful and the challenging. It’s about learning to find the silver linings and opportunities for growth, even in our darkest times. Through it all, the book emphasizes the importance of self-love and compassion as we navigate life’s ups and downs.

What was the process of putting the book together?
This is my fourth book and undoubtedly the one that has taken the longest to write. It was about 15 years in the making. I began [by] simply journaling my thoughts about situations that I was going through or observed over the years. Those thoughts became reflections and lessons that I would go back and read and reevaluate. Last year, I broke my ankle and suddenly found lots of time to finally coordinate the book and get it published. It is probably my proudest creative achievement to date.

Do you have a writing routine or ritual that you follow to sit and write?
It’s not so much a specific routine, but music is always a muse. I listen to different genres depending on my day and mood. My brain tends to always race with thoughts and ideas, and music helps me settle a bit — that and a good glass of wine. So I will sit with my glass, Alexa playing my favorite music stations — James Blake, Bryson Tiller — and I put pen to paper.

What, if anything, do you want readers to take away from the book?
My thoughts were that this book could inspire my daughter. God forbid anything ever happened to me; she would have these little “lessons” and affirmations to always keep going. For anyone who likes to wake up to a positive note or needs a little push, “Unlearning” could serve as a guiding light to transcend perceived limitations and allow us to embrace our perfectly imperfect selves.

What’s next for Tina Divina?
Next, I am going to (notice I said ‘I am going to’ and not ‘I want to’) turn my first two poetry books into immersive audiobooks. I have some good ideas that I want to play around with and see what I can create. I also love short films and have a few ideas up my sleeve that I plan to write and bring to fruition.

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