A Writer’s Course

Being a writer doesn’t mean you can type all the different words every day with genuine fresh ideas. I recall the struggle I faced back in college when I have to write an essay or articles, even for a formulated one, the hardest part is to begin.

The beginning of my writing was at the 5th grade when I was interested in my school’s blank bulletin board. I walked by it every day to the cafeteria, noticed that nobody ever turn their heads to look at the board. I was so into poetry back then, credits for the classical Indonesian poet; Chairil Anwar, my mother brought me his poetry collection Aku and as a little child I am, burying my nose under the pages of his metaphors, simile and other figure of speech that I took literally and Indonesian vocabularies that I don’t even understand. That’s when the 10 years old me, made my own poetry based on the inspiration of my close friend Mr. Chairil Anwar and I posted it at the bulletin board. A month later, the board was always full withother students’ short stories, drawing and poetry. I must admit, this is the biggest success I ever had in inspiring others.

After the bulletin board, I don’t remember I have other writing experience until my college days, though I wrote journals back then, and twas always about my puppy love stories. I do remember reading books—plenty of books and comics—thanks to Mum, that always secretly in love with classic literature, and my older brother who stacked so many books that always interesting to read.

My brother, got into college for an English Linguistic and Literature major. There was when the stack of his book—and mine—gotten higher. I was introduced to Dan Brown, Henri Charrière, Agatha Christie, Asma Nadia, Habiburrahman El-Shirazy, and Andrea Hirata by my family’s mini library. That’s when I longed to be a writer, specifically, a children novel writer. And that dream was buried for a long time.

Until my college days, I was enrolled for the same major as my brother, I don’t know why I chose to study English—maybe twas the only thing I can do, English—but I was enchanted by other literature and being around people who appreciating it, suddenly I have the urge to write again. I wrote several poems in my journal, created one or two stories that only got through the first chapter, drawing sketches and playing my ukulele.

The Beatles, their songs also leaving a deep mark in my writing history—as I never understand Stan Getz without looking at the translations. I was deeply in love with their songs, and their stories, and that’s when I realized that ballads are amazing.

Back to my writings, the only book I have ever written successfully was my thesis for bachelor degree—it is called Skripsi in Indonesia. My research was based on something I deeply in love with; Children Literature. I used one of Ursula Vernon’s graphic novel as my thesis material, luckily I got in touch with her and got the insight from the author’s very own words–that’s kinda cheating. That was my first email conversation with a real writer. I will exaggerate this as an awesome experience, and I was the first student who made graphic novel research in my major.

I wasn’t a really good student, moreover a good writer, but I know I want to and I need to know if I can. So after graduated, I worked in a digital marketing company as a sales administrator. There was when I know about copy writing and envy the people who’s entitled. My colleague, who was a copywriter in that company—that always said “copy writing is easy, just copy and rephrase”—wasn’t from communication major or even linguistic and literature. But she is strong in English, and could applying it well—this is why I was jealous. I don’t even care about grammar, back in college, I have poor grammar understanding and very careless about it—still not well in the present though.

The company was only writing for Indonesian client and in Indonesian words, where I am not very capable of—I know, that’s embarrassing thing to say for my first language skill. So I searched for any company that will accept me as a newbie copywriter, and I found Inkspiration, a Singaporean digital marketing enterprise that accepted me the way I am. They took me in and taught me a lot of copy writing skills. They have plenty of Indonesian employees, working from home and posting their job through internet.

Here I am now, writing on the beach, drinking coconut water and working daily as a careless Copy Writer.

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