Deshae Robinson has always been involved in the world of art. He enjoyed drawing as a kid, but by the time he got to middle school, those pictures had transformed into the written word. He started writing as a coping mechanism, and for the love of creating something meaningful. His writing journey has been incredibly diverse, as he initially started writing horror stories, then symbolic ones, and now poetry. His favorite genres are horror, thriller, action, and mystery. He also enjoys history and historical fiction but finds romance, drama, and biographies to be less appealing.
To fuel his writing as a child, he read whatever he felt like, whenever he felt like it! One of the books that truly stood out to him over the years, and the only one that actually brought him to tears, was A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. He related strongly to the character’s anguish at losing his mother at such a young age. His other two favorite books are Silver by Chris Wooding and Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott, though he is currently absorbed in reading By the Sword by Richard Cohen. If he had to choose, his favorite author would be Edgar Allen Poe. Deshae finds his methods of writing, imagery, tone, and overall feeling to be quite striking. In fact, Edgar Allan Poe was a bit of a subconscious inspiration for a lot of his work when he first started writing. He’d be honored to be mentored by anyone, but when it comes to his dream mentor, he’d have to go with Stephen King, to help rekindle Deshae’s love of writing horror stories.
Writing has always given Deshae energy; he likes to draw inspiration from fond memories, and visions of nature tend to spark his creativity, as he enjoys writing poems with vivid imagery. Once he writes that first line and reads it back to himself, he just gets more excited and the words flow out of him quite smoothly. Most of the time, he finds it easier to write on his phone instead of a notebook, especially when he gets a sudden idea and the first lines of a poem appear in his mind. Keeping his phone on him as a writer’s tool is a great way for him to jot it down before forgetting it! He’ll often take the first or the last few words of a story or poem to make the title, or he thinks of something to completely capture the essence of the writing. He tries to find a way to keep it relevant to the piece without spoiling what it’s about, and toes that line to come up with striking titles. His titles can take him thirty minutes to write, as he is always searching for that perfect fit. He finds revision a bit tedious sometimes, but the most difficult part about writing for him is planning a structure; particularly, he enjoys going with the flow in his poetry, so keeping a consistent rhyme scheme can be difficult. Deshae writes whenever he gets inspiration, which could be once every few weeks or even five to six times a week. However, he tries to note ideas down to come back to later, as demands from work can make splitting his schedule quite challenging. His poems develop naturally from an abstract idea that he wants to bring to life, which turns into a draft on his phone. He comes back to it when he’s ready to rewrite it into a structured poem and revise where necessary but tries not to edit it more than once, otherwise, he risks watering down the original essence.
For Deshae, there is not much emotion involved in his poetry; his writing is mainly made up of abstract thoughts and ideas. He does not often write personal poetry, but the tribute poem he wrote on his mother’s birthday is his favorite. It is a beautiful reflection of his thoughts and feelings, with stunning imagery. He is always working on writing more stories and poetry and even has an unfinished book he started in middle school that was lost to the ages. In general, he will only show his works-in-progress to those close to him when he feels they are nearly done. He is constantly writing and doesn’t really believe in writer’s block. However, he won’t write about just anything if it does not resonate with him. When it comes to stories, though, he definitely finds that it can be difficult to decide what to do next. Ultimately, he writes whenever the mood strikes in order to help get the creative juices flowing, even if it’s nonsensical.
Deshae prefers books over audiobooks, as he feels he would not be able to focus and will constantly end up rewinding the track. However, with a book, he can set his phone aside, clear his mind, and cut distractions. He also believes that more people should have library memberships, as they are severely underfunded.
Deshae considers publication to be the ultimate form of literary success, as it allows a writer to become more well-known, and it could possibly generate an income. He recently submitted his first manuscript and believes that the more he puts himself out there, the more likely he is to succeed. However, he notes that success can take many forms, depending on one’s perspective. He feels lucky to have a strong support system in his friends and family for his writing. They always offer positive feedback and constructive criticism of his work, but he does not share his poetry often as he writes quite frequently and he knows that his loved ones are busy.
Deshae has lots of other hobbies to keep him busy when he is not writing. He has been practising Kenjutsu, which is Japanese swordsmanship, for four years, and he also enjoys collecting blades, knife sharpening, photography, gaming, meditating, and occasionally reading manga or watching anime.
For new writers, his advice is to keep writing, and not worry about the ‘what’ or the ‘how’. He believes it is important to just write about whatever comes to mind and go with the flow of one’s heart and mind. Even if it is childish or unpolished, he expresses that it’s important to write for the love of writing or catharsis, and it’s okay to start small and simple.
His favorite quote of all time by the late rapper XXXTentacion perfectly aligns with his advice - “If you always do what you've always done, you'll always be where you've always been.”
You can find Deshae Robinson on Instagram as @deshinitai.