Who are you? My name is Jessie and a Malaysian-Chinese dancer, choreographer, and writer based in London.
What do you do when you’re not writing? I’m either in the studio dancing and rehearsing or at home with my cats!
Why do you write? Writing has always been attached to my identity- whether from young when I was writing diaries, to harnessing writing in both my choreographic practice and creative projects, and to being a poet- writing is tied to my being.
How did you come up with the idea for Manuscripts of the Mind? Long story short, it all started when I tasked myself to write 100 poems back in 2016! Up until then, I never finished a manuscript, and I was determined to finally visualise my mind onto paper, in a complete form.
Why did you choose that title? Initially, the book was going to be titled ‘Hiatus’ however, when I was taking a step back and looking at the book, I realised that these writings are all pieces that make up my mind, and I’ve decided then, to title it as so.
Where is your favourite place? Home!
How often do you write? I literally write everyday - from the digital space to manuscripts, to academic literature, I am constantly writing.
What inspires you? Life and everything in between. From the mundane to the eventful, everything is an inspiration.
What is your favourite book? Recently or of all time. One book that had stuck with me all these years is a book I read when I was a teenager, Lesley Pearse’s “Till We Meet Again.” My current favourite is John Berger’s “Ways of Seeing.”
Do you have a favourite word? Exaggeration - it was the first ‘difficult’ word my mother taught me when I was a child!
Do you have a favourite quote? “This too shall pass.”
How important is reading and literature to you? Extremely important - without it, I don’t think I can be the artist in dance and in writing I am right now.
Tell us the main message behind your publication or the reason why you wrote it?
Throughout the development of the manuscript, it became evident there was an underlying meaning and purpose. It was a telling story of the mind, and with inspiration from the movie, ‘Touched With Fire’, I wanted to choreograph the pieces into a journey - the hills and the valleys of the mind, and everything in between.
Are you writing anything now? Yes :) This is the beginning of a world of manuscripts from me!
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers? You need only your mind, your heart, and your will to create. Never stop creating.