“Have strong self- belief and stay persistent,” says Tina Sequeira, award winning author and blogger Tina
Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here!
Exam season is around the corner but close on its toes will be the vacations and a perfect time to relax, read and write. Want to make use of this time to explore blogging? We have the perfect summer workshop for you here. But before that lets head over for writing tips and success mantra to award winning author and acclaimed blogger Tina Sequeira.
Sara: Hey Tina. Congrats for your many awards and accolades! As a unique writing platform for young writers (under 16s), we at Bookosmia (smell of books) often hear talented young writers lament that they aren’t taken seriously, let alone be eligible for awards just because of their age. What is your advice to them?
Tina: Thank you so much! I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts with Bookosmia. I think it’s fantastic we have so many talented young people who enjoy reading and writing. That’s a good sign. The world needs more artists with imagination and empathy to lend beauty and hope to our world today—my advice to my young and bright writer friends to stay persistent. We live in a digital world, and I’m sure there are avenues and opportunities that you can keep a watch on, now or later. You have the advantage of age on your side. Please make the most of it! Read diverse books and write passionately on a subject you feel most connected with. Don’t bother about whether others take you seriously or not. You must have strong self-belief first, and then the rest will all fall into place at the right time. Stay persistent!
Sara: You won the Rashtriya Gaurav Award (2019) for Bhumi-an anthology of 21 short stories on female issues like infanticide, menstrual tabboo, gender discrimination etc. We have also published some powerful writing by young girls on these topics. What do you think is the right age for forming and voicing opinions on serious issues?
Tina: That’s an interesting question! There is no age bar.
I took to writing during my adolescence. It was therapeutic back then to help me tide over that very confusing phase of life. I had and still have vociferous feelings and opinions on gender equality. I call myself a born feminist because I was always one, much before I had heard of the term. I’d question the gender discrimination within the home and outside.
Today, I’m glad more young girls and women are voicing their opinions even though there is still a section in our society that’s medieval in its mindset.
One welcome change is the participation of boys in the gender equality movement. That’s a good sign and a step in the right direction. I don’t think it’s a man’s world, and that statement is exclusionary and reeks of entitlement.
Sara: ‘The Tina Edit’ is among the Top 100 Writing Blogs & Websites for Authors in 2020 in the world and Top 100 Indian Lifestyle Blogs by Feedspot. What do you think is driving this amazing achievement? Do share some tips on how young writers can maximize the audience for their stories.
Tina: Passion coupled with consistency. It’s always been a childhood dream to become an author. Once you enjoy something or you’re good at something, and you pursue it with determination and perseverance, it opens up several doors of opportunities. Be on the lookout for various contests for young writers – city, state, national, and international level. Social media is a powerful medium to connect to your audience, but you have to use it to your advantage and strategically. Too much can be addictive. Too little can render you to become anonymous or unforgotten. Consistency matters!
Sara: If you could say something to your 16 year old self, what would it be?
Tina: To pursue your dreams! I didn’t do it back then! I am doing it now. Better late than never, as they say!
I wish you all the very best in your writing journey!
Don’t miss finding out what blogging is like at our summer workshop in India at Sara@bookosmia.in.
Know Tina better: Tina Sequeira is a marketer and moonlighting writer.
Winner of the Rashtriya Gaurav Award (2019) in association with the Government of Telangana for ‘Bhumi,’ the Orange Flower Award (2017) by Women’s Web, Literoma Nari Samman Award (2020), GrandQueens Leadership Award (2020) by Lions Clubs International, and Women Lit of the Year Award (2020) by I.N.S.P.I.R.E Beyond Motherhood Awards, Tina has published several short stories, poems, and essays in international anthologies and literary journals. Tina featured among the ‘Top 35 writers of 2017’ and ‘Top 20 Writers of 2020’ by Youth Ki Awaaz, India’s leading online platform for Social Justice. Tina is the founder of ‘Write Away.’ WOW Hyderabad magazine listed the ‘Write Away’ program in the Aug 2019 edition. Her blog ‘The Tina Edit’ is among the ‘Top 100 Writing Blogs & Websites for Authors in 2020’ in the world and ‘Top 100 Indian Lifestyle Blogs’ by Feedspot. Find her at thetinaedit.com and on most social media spaces @thetinaedit.