You know, I can appreciate how Dana Dane Bolton’s guilty pleasure is heartbreak. As a matter of fact there are 14 degrees of love in the Arabic Language which include: Al-Hawa (Attraction), Al-Sabwa (Amusement), Al-Shaghaf (Passion), Al-Wajd (Preoccupation), Al-Kalaf (Infatuation), Al-\’Oshok (Adulation), Al-Najwa (Heartburn), Al-Shawq (Longing), Al-Wasab (Excruciating pain), Al-Istikana (Submissiveness), Al-Wodd (Friendliness), Al-Kholla (Unification), Al-Gharam (Fervour), and Al-Hoyam (Madness) (source www.stepfeed.com) that many layers of love unfortunately also fuels the severity of the word heartbreak. It’s like a maze that goes in all different directions, layers of love affect different people in many varied ways. I’ve read many of Dana’s pieces they consistently evoke a very raw emotion. Dana tends to not hold back – something I genuinely appreciate in a poet. Check her out on Instagram @dana_djane .
RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, how did you overcome it?
DDB: Yes, I have. Overcoming “the block”. Normally, I find myself “force writing”, pushing as far as I can until I get a breakthrough, even if it is one line, I am one step closer. Music helps: Deep, love, or soul breaking music. Ones that bring waterfalls to my eyes, brings warmth to my heart, or brings shivers to my soul. They all open up a new emotion or break the cement.
RMMW: We all have an inner critic; how do you contend with yours?
DDB: : Facing it head on. With a question, you are 99.9 percent of the time bound to get an answer, even if it is “I don’t know”. I question why I am doing it to myself (sometimes I don’t know), so I analyze, then I work through it. I place myself in all corners, with all of my critics to understand and solve the conflict.
RMMW: Do you have any artist rituals before starting a new piece?
DDB: Ooo, that is a good question. It depends on my mood. Some days, I turn everything off, and live in the silence of the words that float around me. Other days, a song will sync with me, and I will replay it until my piece is complete.
RMMW: When is your favourite day to write?
DDB: Sundays, they are quiet. Sundays everyone in the words sleeps in, or does laundry, cleans, gets ready for the start of the new week. It is a day where no one bothers anyone, as if it is just ourselves and what we are doing. Sunday mornings specifically are my favorite, my brain always seems so calm, unworried. It is a peaceful place where I can exhale all of my week onto paper. “A day of cleanse.”
RMMW: What themes do you enjoy exploring throughout your work?
DDB: Love: Love can be so simplistic, yet so complex. Love is like a potion, and in writing it brings passion, bliss, pain, longing, and so forth.
Heartbreak: Heartbreak for some reason is a guilty pleasure. I find myself here more times than not. Our hearts break in different ways, even when memories of the past flood us, it shatters all over again, in different pieces. It makes room to explore a different emotion, or be able to step foot in someone else’s shoes, a different perspective.
Self awareness: Being aware of self, or being able to take a step in a brighter direction, is the biggest step we can take. Writing about healing, especially in the moment gives me hope, and faith that I will make it to the next step, and overcome that also. Healing is a process, and exploring that process, through writing heals me, even if that means I fall back a few times.
RMMW: Do you feel social media hinders or helps writers?
DDB: I think that it does both. I think it hinders writers because it gives us a “structure” built on likes and comments. We forget why we write once this particular power or craving for something in return falls into place. I do however think that it helps, it gives writers feedback that we need to grow and strengthen our pieces, or an adventure to our way of writing.
RMMW: What is your process? Do you go for the pen and parchment first or right to the computer?
DDB: Pen and Parchment I head for when I have a HUGE storm in my brain going on. When I have to put a lot of thought into my work. On the other hand, my phone is very accessible, it is where I jot down quick notes or thoughts, which later I add onto — It is where I free write most of the time.
RMMW: Who are you favourite indie writers?
DDB: Nikita Gill, Alexandra Elle, Ruby Dhal
RMMW: What is the relationship between your speaking and writing voice?
DDB: Without my speaking voice, my writing voice wouldn’t exist and vice versa. They are a package deal. When my speaking voice runs wild, by writing voice makes sure it comes to a secure place and not left vulnerable for the world to pick at after my thought is over… When my writing voice goes on a tangent, my speaking voice takes a bit away to make sure my ink doesn’t run off into oblivion.
RMMW: Do you think that any subject can be turned into a poem?
DDB: Yes, I do. I think anything can be placed into a form of expression, whether it be words, or dancing, or painting.
RMMW: Why is poetry important to you?
DDB: It is a way to release what we hold in. It is a way to speak so honestly (example, if we are looking for closure, we can let loose all the demons, for both parties), a place to dance out or within our emotions, sing with the memories. Poetry is a safety net for me.
RMMW: What do you feel is your role as a writer?
DDB: To let others understand that being vulnerable doesn’t mean that they are weak. That expressing what we feel, in any rhythm of words, are very important. Poetry is a way to be who you are, be who we were, or what we may be. As a writer, my role is to leave an open platform for others to be open and free with themselves, it doesn’t matter how deep something cuts, or how big it grows, or how hard it falls. It all flies eventually. “Be you, or be what it is that you are trying to be. Express yourself. Never hold yourself back.”
RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?
DDB: To Heal. I feel that lending a helping hand, or pushing someone in the right direction makes all the difference. It takes just one person, and the process begins. Sometimes that one person is ourselves, but if I could take the pain away from someone’s heart, or ease their mind (emotionally, mentally, or physically) etc, I would give my all in doing so with healing as my super power- no matter how much time it took, or how much of my powers it drained.