Interview | Writer DeanJean On The Meaning Of Writing & Approaching Creativity Through The Unusual

The Wire's Dream | BL | Black Lion Journal | Black Lion

I am truly excited and humbled to have interviewed DeanJean for The Wire’s Dream 2nd Collection. Her work has inspired me to be open to my creativity in my writing and to be flexible when it comes to scheduling writing time. DeanJean is a blogger; she views her creative writing as an opportunity to explore her interests, which include astrology, literature, and surrealism, together with “lightning bolts from the blue”. Her forays into kooky short stories and free verse poetry can be found on her blog and elsewhere on publications, such as Blue Nib Poetry and Figroot Press. She currently lives in Singapore, where she can be found lurking in libraries, being hopelessly lost in parks or fervently building imaginary sandcastles at the back of public buses. // DeanJean On Twitter @zeldareville

CHRISTINA LYDIA
Hi DeanJean! Thank you for taking your time to answer these questions for us to know about you and your writing.

DEANJEAN
Thank you Christina for giving me the opportunity to be featured in The Wire’s Dream Magazine!

CHRISTINA LYDIA
Tell us a bit on what writing means to you. How and when did you get started? Do you have any writers that you look up to?

DEANJEAN
Whew, that’s a tough one, because I can imagine the potential tangents splitting off from this single question!

In general, writing is a way of setting these guttural human sounds into an orderly, visual structure on a tangible form, from which we can unmask, consume and extract the purest essence for the purposes of understanding ourselves and the world around us. Writing is also an excellent pathway through which emotion and knowledge can transcend beyond the physical and mental limits of an individual, by presenting themselves in a manner that allows ample room for original elucidations to be drawn from. So, writing is incredibly meaningful to me because of the enormous implications of these factors. I’m fascinated by how knowledge and emotion can turn the cogs in our brains and spur us on to perform amazing feats. Significant events in our world’s history have permanently altered the paths on which we have walked, all because of a humble book or ideology of the moment that were probably birthed from some hastily scribbled notes!

“I’m fascinated by how knowledge and emotion can turn the cogs in our brains and spur us on to perform amazing feats.”

I can’t remember when I started to write exactly, but I remember the gradual process. I began by reading just like any other kid – going to libraries during the weekends and coming back with an armful of books! I was an only child with boredom to contend with, so creativity filled that hole of solitude perfectly. I progressed towards writing at about 9 or 10, as another means to create my own worlds of reality, writing mostly short stories as I had neither the patience nor stamina for longer works. Then I switched my attention towards fantasy and fan fiction stories for the next few years, due to the highly conducive environment of my grandmother’s home. I stopped as I got older, but recently went back to writing again after realizing that it was still highly enjoyable. I started a writing blog last year, to see where it could lead me to.

Picture of Yukio Mishima, pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka, a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor, and film director. | TWD - The Wire's Dream DJ Interview | Interview | Writer DeanJean On The Meaning Of Writing & Approaching Creativity Through The Unusual | BL | Black Lion Journal | Black Lion
“His words stitch together the smouldering passion that colours many of his seminal works with his Buddhist-influenced insights on beauty that implodes with an excruciating intensity.”

I’m a big fan of Yukio Mishima! His words stitch together the smouldering passion that colours many of his seminal works with his Buddhist-influenced insights on beauty that implodes with an excruciating intensity. His writing haunts the reader, even after the book has been finished. There’s also the undercurrent of human mortality in his books that I find very compelling. I also find Iris Murdoch’s writing to be incredible – she has the rare ability to conjure fictional characters that seem as real as the people walking down a sparsely populated street, but have been cobbled together in some wry, absurd way that offsets the mundane and makes them larger than actual life. And I also appreciate how her deceptively simple writing illuminates the most obscure of truths.

CHRISTINA LYDIA
After I read “That Man Had A Really Weird Sunhat On” (amazing title!) on your blog I just knew that I landed on a special writer. I loved reading your three poems and have enjoyed the vivid imagery presented in each. Writers approach the writing process in different ways. How do you approach writing? Do you pre-write and edit later or do you let your words tumble as they come? Do you have a specific genre you lean to, or are you more free with your poem’s construction?

DEANJEAN
Ah, thank you very much! I guess I lean towards a experimental approach when I write – I don’t have a “one-size fits all” approach as I’m unsure of the direction I’m heading towards when starting on a new piece. I get bored really easily, so I try to make the process as fun and quick as possible. I keep a lookout for the unusual, or I try to spot anything that makes sense in a bigger picture of intertwining patterns. I note these fragments down, and then examine the scraps to see if they can be pieced together into something coherent, and plug the gaping holes with whatever that comes to me at the moment. I usually leave the editing to the next few days, so that much of the excitement and the novelty of the moment have worn off. This allows me to view it in a more objective manner and make sure the piece is worth its weight. I don’t lean towards any specific poetry genres, but I do try to make some efforts towards appropriate punctuation, sentence and stanza lengths. I’m still relatively new to poetry, and I’m game for trying out other poetry or similar writing genres if I can see potential in it to improve my writing.

CHRISTINA LYDIA
There are plenty of writers (myself included) who struggle with finding the time to write. Some have suggested making time in the morning or evening to write, others have suggested to do what works for them. What about you? How do you make time to do what you love to do?

DEANJEAN

TWD - The Wire's Dream DJ Interview | Interview | Writer DeanJean On The Meaning Of Writing & Approaching Creativity Through The Unusual | BL | Black Lion Journal | Black Lion
“I think this is where technology can be a real life and time-saver. I quickly note down ideas that I find to be of interest on my phone, so that I can expound and edit the pieces when I get home.”

I think this is where technology can be a real life and time-saver. I quickly note down ideas that I find to be of interest on my phone, so that I can expound and edit the pieces when I get home. If I’m lucky enough, the idea can generate sufficient mental interest and momentum to allow me to complete the piece in a few minutes! Work can be an intensive time and energy-gobbler, so this has been a good way for me to make much of the precious little I have. And I’ve also found that writing a little for a short period of time everyday (say, half an hour or a few minutes) – even a few words, or a single sentence, or working on an unfinished piece – allows you to fall easily into a routine which can create the impetus for writing creativity. It flexes the brain and keeps the words flowing. Additionally, the activity of immersing yourself in books, films or art allows you a glimpse into the worlds of others, from which illuminating insights and newly gained perspectives can spark off that elusive inspiration.

CHRISTINA LYDIA
I know that writers out there look to blogging as a way to spread their words and even find community among other writers and lovers of words. How has blogging helped you as a writer? What advice can you give those writers who want to start blogging?

DEANJEAN
For me, blogging has been a massive help in finding like-minded writers and fans who either dig what I do, write in the same vein or have the same interests as me! I’ve also been delving into the works of other writers on their blogs, and have found much to admire in the various literary styles and expressions. Through interacting with them, I can look at how I can improve my own perceptions of life and my own work. I’m still aware that I have lots to learn about, and learn from!

I’m not very good at giving advice; mainly because I usually don’t take the heed of others myself, but this seems the best to anyone who’s still wondering if they should do it: Stop thinking about it, and start doing it!

CHRISTINA LYDIA
We all write and produce work for many reasons, either personal, political, professional, or a combination. What do you write for? What do you hope to achieve with your writing? Where do you hope to be in 5 years with your creativity?

DEANJEAN
I write to explore the different terrains of my ever-expanding interests, to reveal the hidden beauty in the mundane, and of the moment, to clarify my own muddled thoughts, to revel in the simple joy of creation, and its difficult but ultimately rewarding process – and to slip into the gradually warmed shoes of my own self. I don’t intentionally set out to achieve with my writing, since the interpretation of any finished work that goes out into the world is beyond your control. But I hope that they can view the world through a renewed pair of eyes when they finish reading my work…and to see that beauty can exist in the mundane, even in the dankest of ditchwater puddles. Where do I hope to be in 5 years with my creativity? I would like to put out a chapbook or an actual product that I can hold in my hands and be proud of. That’s something that I’m working towards, one step at a time.

BL | Black Lion Journal | Black Lion

Thank you, DeanJean, for allowing us to know a bit about you! // You can view Deanjean’s Work On The Wire’s Dream 2nd Collection released on June 30th.

 
BL | Black Lion Journal | Black Lion | Christina Lydia © 2017 | The Black Lion is a humble interdisciplinary journal that values your voice. Visit the submissions page to learn more about submitting to the Journal’s sections or to The Wire’s Dream Magazine. | Copyright Policy
 

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