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Rina Hofmann finds her peace in poetry and children's book writing 

Rina Hofmann has wanted to be a writer for most of her life.

"I have always had this longing inside and a desire to write since I was a child," Hofmann said. "I was always interested in creative things, but writing in particular stuck out to me as something I was good at."

click to enlarge EVER-EVOLVING Rina Hofmann said that writing has allowed her to find joy in life and grow in her spirituality as the world changes around her. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF RINA HOFMANN
  • Photos Courtesy Of Rina Hofmann
  • EVER-EVOLVING Rina Hofmann said that writing has allowed her to find joy in life and grow in her spirituality as the world changes around her.

It's who she is at her core: whether through her observations of the passing joys of everyday life or the spiritual meaning she draws from meditation or even the noises her cat, Tiger, makes.

But it was also something she said she couldn't do without feeling a little bit of shame.

"I've always felt a strong desire to write, but there was always this guilt I had around it from how I was raised," she said. "I ended up in a profession that didn't make my heart sing."

Now, as she enters her 40s, Hofmann is diving headfirst into a new career doing what she dreamed of doing—without the weight of her past.

Hofmann has called many places home—including Washington, D.C.; San Fransisco; Hawaii; and New Zealand—thanks to her former career as a nurse.

Since April of this year, the now San Luis Obispo-based Hofmann has written a children's book and completed six poetry books, with a seventh on its way.

"I'm the kind of person that pushes myself—and those around me—to get things to happen, so when I'm motivated I can push so many ideas out," she said with a laugh.

All of her work focuses on the importance of love, joy, and a search for a deeper peace in life, she said, often taking a more romanticized view of things—but she also explores the silly and the sweet.

"When I was honing my skill as a writer, I realized that I like the idea of writing a children's picture book, so I did," she said. "Tiger-Roo is this fun little work based on my cat, Tiger, and the cute little 'roo' sounds it made."

click to enlarge TREASURE OF JOY Writer Rina Hofmann wants her poetry to be as easily accessible as is it compelling and thought-provoking. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF RINA HOFMANN
  • Photos Courtesy Of Rina Hofmann
  • TREASURE OF JOY Writer Rina Hofmann wants her poetry to be as easily accessible as is it compelling and thought-provoking.

Currently, she has a store on Etsy with her poetry books available in digital form while she searches for a publisher and illustrator for Tiger-Roo.

"When I first started solely focusing on writing poetry and books as a whole I was told there was no money in the field," she said laughing. "But sometimes there is this sense of love for life and finding that deeper spirituality that honestly is more important."

The journey to that conclusion is something that Hofmann considers just as important as the books themselves.

She was raised as a Jehovah's Witness—and while she does acknowledge that everyone's experience with religion is different, she found that it negatively impacted her ability to explore her creative side.

"The church has good intentions, but at the end of the day, their emphasis is to preach. There was no focus on education, arts, or interacting with anyone outside of the religion," she said. "When you are raised in an environment like that, it is hard to believe in yourself."

That negative impact eventually led Hofmann to leave the religion at the age of 18 as she entered college and found herself in the field of nursing.

"It was tough. Because of the way the religion works, if someone leaves, everyone sort of dissociated themselves from that person, so when I left my father did that with me," she said. "But I also felt like I had been somewhat freed from that type of thinking that told me I couldn't be creative or control my own life."

click to enlarge TERRIFIC TIGER Rina Hofmann's cat, Tiger, serves as the main character in her children's book, Tiger-Roo. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF RINA HOFMANN
  • Photos Courtesy Of Rina Hofmann
  • TERRIFIC TIGER Rina Hofmann's cat, Tiger, serves as the main character in her children's book, Tiger-Roo.

But she didn't completely abandon her sense of spirituality, as she credits a deep dive into meditation and other spiritual practices as enabling her to get to where she is now.

"At the time, and even now, my spiritual practice gave me peace," she said. "It gave me this little voice that said, 'Everything is going to be OK!' no matter how hard life got."

While establishing herself in her career as a nurse for veterans organizations, Hofmann still felt a strong tug to explore her creative side.

"Nursing wasn't something that I wanted to do forever, and although it truly did bless me with wonderful people and was a great job, I started thinking of other professions," she said. "I ended up deciding I wanted to go to school to work at a library, and that's when things shifted."

As she found herself more engrossed in creative expression and the work that going back to school brings, Hofmann chose to fully devote herself to her passion and quit nursing.

"It was a moment where I went, 'Oh my goodness, I want to quit working so I can finish grad school and focus on my next career,'" she said. "Doing that was so freeing because it removed a big chunk of my life that felt like it was sort of holding me back in the way that it controlled me."

Writing is Hofmann's way of taking control of her destiny, and she's now on a new journey she describes as unlike anything she has experienced before.

"I was programmed to have my life kind of controlled. I would always be the one taking orders and serving, and it left me without a sense of autonomy," she said. "With writing, I've been able to take that control I have always wanted to have over my life."

In embracing her true identity, Hofmann said she learned something that she hopes people who read her work can also learn and choose to embrace what they are passionate about.

"My favorite work I've written is one of my poetry books titled Deep Touch because it explores this idea that you don't realize the truth until you start looking back on the past," she said. "Love, spiritual practices, and this idea of deep-rooted love—whether it's the idea of divine love, infinite intelligence, God, whatever.

"This is my one chance to live life on earth doing the things I enjoy and want to do—so I'm going to do them." Δ

Staff Writer Adrian Vincent Rosas is feeling inspired. Reach him at [email protected].

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