Jade Helena is a writer, poet and Community Artist at SKETCH. Her autobiography, The Teen Sex Trade: My Story, will be published this Fall. In the meantime, you can follow her on Instagram or her website, and her hashtags are #stagesbyjadehelena and #authorpoetsurvivor.
My art practice right now is novel writing, but I also dabble in poetry. Occasionally, you’ll see me on a stage performing a spoken-word piece, but I prefer to write and have people experience my words for themselves. I like when people read my work and make their own interpretations, as opposed to their hearing my words through my tone.
My creative process is pretty spontaneous. I have random bursts of creative energy. I usually don’t work well under pressure or with a designated topic for my writing. I like to write whatever comes to mind. I’ll be in random places such as home, on the bus, or in the shower when all of a sudden, a poem starts forming in my head. Then I have to scramble to write it down ‘cause I know I’ll forget if I tell myself that I can write it down later.
Sometimes I’ll form a poem in my head while asleep, and then I’ll have to wake up and try to write it before I forget. I try not to censor myself or edit while writing. I let everything flow, then when I think I’m done, I’ll go back and change words or punchlines. Most of the time, I can rhyme off the top of my head but sometimes I’ll use rhymezone.com or make a note to myself to look up a rhyming word.
Writer and Community Artist Jade Helena
I tend to write about the things I’m experiencing or have experienced. A lot of what I write sounds kind of sad or depressing but I don’t mean it to be that way. My writing starts out with the problem I’m having. By the end of it, I’ve created a solution for myself or realized steps I can take to fix the issue. Sometimes, I get this crazy urge to solve a problem like I can see the solution in my mind, but it’s foggy. I know it will stay on my mind until I write it down so I do.
I write about love a lot too. My head is always in the clouds about love. I like to write down my goals every so often as well.
I’m going to release my autobiography later this year. That’s like…my thing. It talks a bit about my childhood then goes into detail about my teenage years. I went through some shit in those times with my so-called boyfriend who turned out to be a pimp. So, my book is about that experience. One of the main reasons for writing the book was so that I could heal. I was so angry and self destructive for a long time that I needed to get it out.
The best way for me to do that was for me to write it down.
Read part two of Jade’s story next week.
Photo credits: Sophia Ogbe