The Place that Nurtured Me

I used to work in a startup company.

It wasn’t a big company per se, but we did have a big dream. It is no secret that in this modern era, founding and nurturing a startup company that will eventually go boom in the market is like a proverbial rat race everyone should participate in. It was almost like the norm, even.

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-meeting-workspace-team-7097/

I still remember the day when I first set my foot inside the office, back in March 2014. I was still a total newbie and wet behind the ears. The office only occupied one medium-sized room inside a two stories office building in the heart of Jakarta. Having previously interned in a more “prestigious” office that perches on the 28th floor of a rather modern skyscraper, I had clearly thought that this company was a total joke.

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Of Letting Go

It had been awhile since I broke up with my ex.

The thing is, we never actually separated on a sour note. Sure, there were some things that didn’t click between us, and we ended up having more differences than we could reconcile. But when we decided to break up and go on with our separate lives, we never actually hated each other.

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-alcohol-bar-bartender-274192/

I still remember the day when we broke up, clear as day. He was sitting right in front of me, in a dimly lit bar in Central Jakarta. He was fidgeting, I recall, and didn’t even have a sip of his beer—or even talk. Realizing that there were something he wanted to say, I decided to stay put and observe the waft of smoke from one of the nearby guests like it was the most interesting thing ever.

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The Acrophobic Traveller

“So tell me, are you travelling solo?”

Inside a cheap, red-painted walls of a traveller’s hostel in Osaka, this man, who was most likely in his mid 30s, asked me once.

It didn’t take me long to answer that.

“No,” I replied. “Not yet, at least. But I will be in a few days.”

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/asia-japan-japanese-japanese-culture-590478/

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5 Books That Got Me into Writing Fiction

Looking back, I had always been the storyteller of the family.

I remember talking to my grandmother on a rainy day, or during one of those unfortunate days when there was a blackout and we couldn’t do anything but gather by a candle in the living room and chat until the electricity’s back on again—I had always been the one telling stories, whether they be from my own experiences or pure fiction.

But I have to admit that I owe a major bulk of my interest in storytelling to my hobby: reading.

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-ceramic-teacup-with-saucer-near-two-books-above-gray-floral-textile-904616/

And as I am writing this post, I feel overwhelmed with disappointment that I don’t read as often as I used to, just like I had mentioned in my recent post. Reading used to be what defined me; it shaped me into the person I am today. It would not be an overstatement to say that I owe my whole interest into creative writing to the great books I read during my childhood.

Here are five of them, in no particular order: Continue reading

My (Super Late) 2018 Reading Goals

I am a writer. Or, at least, I identify myself as one.

And for writers, perhaps reading books is something inseparable to their lives. In fact, I can personally testify that I wouldn’t have known half the joy of my life were it not for reading and discovering great books.

I know what people think of us: A writer is supposed to not only write every day, but also read books at every single second of their waking hours. They are expected to have bazillion of books in their houses and hold them in separated vaults for future references.

I know it might sound overly stereotypical, but I also can’t completely deny it. For the most part, I would love that kind of life. I mean, who wouldn’t love a life where I can just sit idly all day, either equipped with my laptop to write my next prose or a book to immerse myself in someone else’s creation? That would be like going into a writing retreat every single day of my life!

Yet, in reality, I have a very ugly confession to make: I don’t really read that much anymore.

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Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/pile-of-hardbound-books-with-white-and-pink-floral-ceramic-teacup-and-saucer-810050/

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My Top 5 Anime Titles of All Time

If you have read my debut novel, 3 (Tiga), you will know that I often draw inspiration from Japanese culture.

After all, there are a lot to be loved from their culture, don’t you agree? From the scrumptious food, elegant buildings and traditions, and to the ever so popular anime and manga culture—I can comfortably say that they helped me shape my identity through my younger years.

An inseparable part of this Japanese culture is, of course, has something to do with their animation industry.

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Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, Naruto, One Piece—those are just some titles that you might have heard about at least once or twice, even if you have no interest in watching them. The culture of watching Japanese animation—dubbed anime—has become so immensely popular that a lot of people has even built some sort of a cult around it.

Now, as much as I love anime, I can’t say that I watch them 24/7. I used to enjoy them almost every day during my younger years, but nowadays I turn to anime as a short escape from my daily grind. Think of it as my way to recharge my mental energy after I forced it to work all week long.

Here are some anime titles that I thoroughly enjoyed. You might have heard of them, or you might have not. But I really think that these titles are worth a try when you’re bored. Who knows, you might get hooked and become a fan of these anime titles yourself! Continue reading

My Writing Playlist: Unspoken Words

KEMUNING

Femme – Kajiura Yuki (梶浦 由記)

Shizuka na Hibi (静かな日々) – S.E.N.S. Project

Lost Memory – S.E.N.S. Project

Itsuka Dokoka de (いつかどこかで) – Hama Takeshi (濱剛)

Deja View – S.E.N.S. Project

Since I completed the first draft of this project during Lebaran Holiday of 2017, I didn’t really need the music so much. But still, there were some really difficult scenes that prevented me from going on a full writing sprint at times. These songs were what I used to listen to whenever I was feeling stuck at writing a certain scene. Continue reading

One Acknowledgements Page I Didn’t Write (Unspoken Words)

There are a lot of parties involved in the writing process of my newest book, UNSPOKEN WORDS. The writing part—sure, it was pretty much solitary. But I owe the conception of this book to a lot of wonderful people, and I am here to convey my gratitude to each and every one of these individuals.

And yes, this list is going to be pretty lengthy. Because pretty much the reason why I didn’t include this acknowledgements in the book is because I didn’t have enough time (and pages) to fit this in. Continue reading

How I Wrote a Novel in 9 Days (Unspoken Words)

It is no secret that my productivity comes in waves, and an irregular one at that. Sometimes, it even bothered me enough that I had to organize a writing retreat in order to get back to writing.

However, I have to say that my experience in writing Unspoken Words was quite peculiar.

If you have been following me on Twitter, you would know that I completed the first draft of the book in just 9 days.

Yes, you did not read that wrong. Even I still find it difficult to believe at times. Sure, I completed my debut novel, 3 (Tiga), in 14 days. But never in my wildest dreams did I hope to accomplish the same feat in the near future.

Yet, in reality, I kinda… did.

And it wasn’t until months after completing the manuscript, revising the draft like crazy, and witnessing the book being displayed in bookstores, did I start taking notes of what could possibly be going on when I wrote the book.

Of how a writer with a very demanding day job could finish writing a book in just 9 days.

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I hate to break this upfront, but the key to accomplishing that is discipline.

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My New Year’s Resolution for 2018

Depending on when you are reading this post, it might be 2018 already. I had considered to post this right when the year changes, but decided against it since I would most likely be celebrating the coming year with family and close friends. And I never liked scheduled posts since it doesn’t feel personal.

So please allow me to say the following:

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!

2017 had been a great, smashing year for me. I got to finish a new book, open my very own Tokopedia shop, and even successfully arranged my own writing retreat. And although some hardships were to be expected, I am very satisfied of what I had accomplished in 2017.

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My newest book: UNSPOKEN WORDS, is now available in your nearest bookstores (Indonesia only)

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