My Writing Playlist: 3 (Tiga)

3 (Tiga)
No, I’m not releasing an album. I just edited the picture myself out of boredom

A lot of people has been asking me, what kind of music do I listen to when I am writing my novels?

Now the truth is, I don’t necessarily need music to keep me in the zone. Of course I listen to them, but I wouldn’t consider music as my absolute writing essentials. I do have to admit, that music can help writers picture certain scenes better when used—which is practically what I am using music for: to help me write certain scenes that would be rather hard to write otherwise.

Below are the tracks I listened to when I was writing my novel, 3 (Tiga)


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Percakapan Sebelum Matahari Terbit

Source: Flickr

Pagi kemarin, saya terbangun dengan mata yang masih mengantuk.

Mungkin sebenarnya ini bukan sesuatu yang aneh atau janggal, karena toh, pada dasarnya saya memang bukan seseorang yang biasa bangun pagi hari. Bekerja pada sebuah perusahaan swasta yang menuntut saya bangun pagi setiap harinya sama sekali tidak membuat saya terbiasa dengan kegiatan bangun tidur sebelum matahari terbit.

Namun harus saya akui, di saat-saat seperti itulah, ketika saya baru saja terbangun dari tidur saya yang nyenyak, selalu ada momen-momen inspiratif yang selalu menjadi bensin saya untuk bekerja di siang harinya.

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Of Writer’s Block and Planning My Writing Retreat

I couldn’t even count the number of times somebody asked me:


“When will you release your next book?”

80% of the time, I would give them a quick smile and say “Soon,” or “I’m working on it,” or something to that effect. And 80% of the time, these people would be satisfied. They would nod and then forget all about it the following day–which works in my favor, if I may say so myself.

The truth is, I’m getting tired of being asked the same thing over and over again. I’m tired of pretending to work on something, when I actually am not. It was getting difficult to keep up with everyone’s expectation. Especially after my debut novel, 3 (Tiga), which was released in August 2015.

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Wind Turbines and Their Magic


I often wonder how does it feel like to become a wind turbine. There is just something about its constant movement and spin that fascinates me. And I didn’t mean those power generating wind turbines. Even the run-of-the-mill electric fans people place in their houses in place of more modern aircons, they all give off the same effect.

Whenever I see one of those electric fans, I don’t just stand in front of it, gaping my mouth while trying to sound robotic. Well, I did, but it was in the distant past, when I couldn’t quite distinguish the difference between sugar and salt crystals. Now, I actually see the philosophy of those moving turbines in a different perspective.

Don’t you wonder why those turbines always spin, but they never actually move?

They spin fervently because it is the only thing it can do best, but they never actually get anywhere. And to be perfectly honest, it is just the way it is.

You don’t expect the turbines to actually move when they spin. Otherwise they won’t produce wind in one constant position, and the electric fan would lose its function. This isn’t the best illustration to describe it, but in a way, it is the same with how people are.

You might feel like everything around you is moving so fast that you just have to catch up with them. You might think that the only thing that can help you from feeling so restless is if you move your body, your mind, and your soul in the same direction as everyone else. But is it really the case, now?

What if everyone else is just like the spinning turbines? You can see them spinning, but they don’t actually move away. What if we never truly move away from anything? Perhaps that’s how we have been living our lives; spinning and spinning like a spinning top, and gaining the equilibrium in the process?

Please give it a thought the next time you see one of those cheap electric fans. There is really more to it than how the majority of people see it.

Of How 3 (Tiga) Came Into Existence

This isn’t an acknowledgement. I have written that down quite excessively in the first few pages of the book. This post is dedicated to how 3 (Tiga) came into being; of its journey from my creative womb to your hands.
3 tiga.indd

In October 2013, I had this strong urge to write a novel. Quite conveniently, the idea struck right when NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was nigh, so I outlined the majority of my novel with participation in mind.

Then November came, and I started writing this idea down. Writing fiction was not a new thing to me, but finishing a novel in one month was bizarre, even when I tried to convince myself otherwise. From a stranger’s point of view, what I pursued must have sounded ridiculous. However, I persevered through the month, and sixty thousand words later, put down the last sentence of my novel on the fourteenth day.

While I admit, the first draft of my novel was unsightly and full of mistakes, I felt a sense of liberation I had never experienced before, and it carried on until the following year, when I edited the manuscript through the first three months.

Life went on for me, and it wasn’t until August 2014 that I finally considered publication as one of the possible paths that I could take. While I tend to shy away from publication of any kind, when the idea came to me like a moment of epiphany, I immediately sent it away, in hopes that maybe someone would read my manuscript and feel something.

In December 2014, I received the news that my novel was getting published.

Fast forward several months, and here I was, writing down this post. Life really works in strange, unfathomable ways, and while I still have my insecurities, I decided that this manuscript would be better off with readers.

Readers who would read it. Readers who would feel something. Readers who would hopefully cherish it as much as I do. And this thinking brought the book to you.

2015-07-31 18.36.00

Even now, as I walked through the aisles of the bookstore, finding how they placed my books amongst many other great titles, I couldn’t help but to hope that maybe, out there in this vast and wonderful world, there might be someone that would read my novel and spare a room on their bookshelves to forever immortalize the experience.

You can find more about my debut novel, 3(Tiga) on this page.


Alicia Lidwina