We recently sat down with author, Jessa Erandio to talk about her prose and poetry book, Your Universe. It’s a book about finding and loving the universe that you can find in yourself. With tons of self-love books coming out there, this interview will give you a glimpse why Your Universe is the book for you!
1. When did you know you want to write poetry?
I knew that I wanted to write poetry when I got active in the Instagram writing community back in 2021. I caught COVID that time so I had to be off work for a few weeks. To spend the days, I joined prompts, interacted with a few poets and really got engrossed with poetry. This was where I gained knowledge on different poetry forms, the use of rhymes and many other basics in writing poetry.
2. What inspired you? Who are your favorite writers who influenced you?
To be honest, I easily get inspired by anything. Sometimes, it can be as simple as a leaf falling, the sun shining, a song, an event, a person, basically, anything. However, there were a few writers who influenced me in my writing endeavors. They are Mitch Albom and Najwa Zebian. I am a huge fan of both so my work is mostly about life, reality and everything in between.
3. How do you balance creating music and writing?
Music and writing are two things that I love the most and what I can say are my passions in life. I balance creating music and writing by focusing on only one of them at a time. I’ve always believed in the power of focus so for me, if an inspiration comes for let’s say, music, I focus on it right away and do everything I can to see through it. Then, if a writing inspiration sparks, I can have all the energy to work on it and thinking about music won’t interfere with writing. This way, I can have a healthy balance on both and pursuing them won’t be burdensome.
Here are 4 of her favorite poems in the collection and why:
Poem #1: Bruises
are sweet reminders
that every pain
heals in time
This piece signifies my strong belief that every pain heals in time. I wrote this piece so quickly that I had a hard time putting a title. It’s obvious that the title should be “Bruises” as it talks about bruises but somehow, I got so consumed with writing that I overlooked the obvious. I think some of the titles I thought of were “Sweet Reminder” and “Heal In Time”.
Poem #2: Surviving
If I want to be seen, I will
Even if wounded, I’ll fight still
I am not afraid to fall down
No one can ever steal my crown
For in life, I camouflage my way out
And that’s what surviving is about
I’ve written this poem as a tribute to myself. If I have to describe myself in one word, it would be “Survivor” because all my life, I have been surviving. I was orphaned at a young age and I had to put myself to college. I’ve been through a lot growing up. There were many times that I thought I wouldn’t make it but I really tried my best to survive. Until now, I am choosing to survive.
Poem #3: The Science of Love
You pull me back to you like gravity
You make me act beyond my will like force
You design your world to be my universe
You’re like oxygen that keeps me breathing
I thought everything is fine like an ecosystem
But then you disappeared in an instant
Our chemistry turned out to be just imaginary
Now, I’m just a scientist without a study,
without a laboratory.
This piece will always remain close to my heart. It’s an attempt to compare Science with love or to speak “love” using scientific terminologies. I really had fun writing this and researching for scientific words that will fit the theme.
Poem #4: Love Letters
I could write a million love letters to you,
If you’d just let me prove my feelings are true.
You are the ink in my pen, the line on my paper.
With you, I am definitely, undeniably, better.
The inspiration behind this piece is a beautiful day in a coffee shop. I was there alone since they just opened for the day so I had the whole place for myself. The view inside was really relaxing and I had the chance to choose a table for me to settle in. So, I chose this table near the window and in that table, there was this cute typewriter tissue holder. The moment I saw it, I immediately thought of love letters and then that piece came to life.
Since Jessa talks about finding your own universe, we also asked about her favorite places:
I’ve always been enamored with museums and coffee or thrift shops that give out vintage vibes. It’s because I have this undeniable fondness for anything vintage. Other places that I also frequent are beaches and farms. They calm me and somehow, when I’m in these places, I feel like my soul is healing. Part of that healing is where I let my creativity just flow whenever I am in these places and aside from writing, I am also able to take pictures, which is something that I’m also interested in.