New Year’s Resolution?

It took me a long time before finally writing this post, because I had to find a way to overcome the writer’s block. Or so it called, because what I’ve been procrastinating on are basically the internet and social media. Looking at other people’s life: most of them are happy with their lovers, get a great job, get scholarship to study overseas, and I’ve been wishing I could have their life. So I’ve been doing nothing, literally.

Another new year has arrived, and obviously I have to get rid the ‘planning everything, accomplish nothing’ off of my resolution list. Well, last year wasn’t so bad either, though I think I could do better. The last year’s theme for me was ‘Reconciliation’. I learned how to make peace with myself, to forgive my mistakes and failures, and the hardest part was moving on.

2014 was the year I started to begin again. After being laid off from my previous job the year before, I tried to find a new job and I realized it was hard as hell. I struggled with limited budget (that’s why you have to spare your money for emergency fund, no matter how big the temptation to shop and follow the hedonism trend) while hunting jobs. I finally got a job, and it’s still related to my expertise and passion: writing. However, it’s different from the previous, because I’m no longer writing about human interest or feature. Now I am a reporter for a business newspaper. And I’m barely believing that I can write about capital market, bonds or inflation, the things I never imagined writing about. But I found some perks of being a business reporter: you don’t need to go to dirty places such as slums or let the sun burns your skin when reporting a protest in the middle of congestion. You just need to understand the topics and being meticulous on the numbers, and you won’t be exhausted because the reporting locations are mostly indoor, such as hotel or meeting room. Oh, and I can be thrifty with my money because I don’t need to buy lunch.

I am grateful that I have a job that gives me financial freedom and some free time, so I can work on my side projects. I also got the best gift from God this year: I was chosen as a member of Five Tower Writing Academy (Akademi Menulis 5 Menara), mentored by one of my favorite novelists, Bang Ahmad Fuadi. He is a great person and surprisingly laid-back and always happy to share his ideas and experiences with around 20 academy’s members. I was so excited to meet him in person and learn so much about writing. I wrote a piece on The Jakarta Globe about him and the academy, and I was glad he liked it.

The First Meeting of Five Towers Writing Academy

The First Meeting of Five Towers Writing Academy

As Bang Fuadi says, writing is not only about being glued on our desk spending hours to write in silence. Writing can take you anywhere and gives you more experiences than you imagine. After publishing a collection of short stories titled ‘Ramadhan Undercover’ (It was amazing to see my name printed on a book distributed by the biggest publisher in the country), me and the fellow members learned how to promote the book using social media, going to the book press meeting and I also got interviewed in a radio. It was awesome because usually I’m the one who do the interview. Yeah, writing can take you to a journey to be a good speaker too, like Bang Fuadi.

Besides gaining many lessons and experiences in writing from Bang Fuadi, I also learned from the other academy members. Really fun and encouraging, because although our backgrounds are diverse, we have one thing in common: we love writing. Like happiness, fondness is real when shared. I’d like to share some writing tips I got from the academy in this blog. I hope you, the readers– or my blog’s followers, can get some helps for your writing.

‘To write more’ is definitely one of my resolutions, for every year. Because writing has changed my life, showing me that I can do better. Writing heals me from every pain, helps me identify myself and grow.

After giving it so much thought a.k.a procrastination, here’s my new year’s resolution:

  1. Win more writing competitions. Well, you have to have goals, right? I won a writing competition and it took me to new places I’ve never seen, Lampung, coffee plantation and factory.
  2. And to achieve that goal I have to be an avid reader so my weapons will be fully loaded. #AbookAWeek added to the list.
  3. Get in shape. I need to inspire people that we can be healthy, pretty and successful at the same time. Don’t ever think about what those naysayers say. Just keep going, and here’s a dose of sport motivation for ya. Oh, and I need to create a hash-tag for this goal. How about #6packjourno? #bruceleeinme? #nolimit #painistemporary #andthelistgoeson
  4. Last but not least, is to live my life wholeheartedly. After watching a TED Talk from Brene Brown about the power of vulnerability (it’s super recommended, go watch it now), I know I don’t have to be perfect. I just don’t give up. I’ll say thanks everyday for the life God has given to me, to my family, friends, people who cross their path with me and give me inspiration.

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