Aulia Halimatussadiah, or Ollie, is one of the most prolific writers I know. She has published 27 books (!), while at the same time managing a number of online businesses she established, such as an online bookstore called Kutukutubuku.com and a self-publishing platform called NulisBuku.com. In this #KetikaMenulis edition, I tried to pick her brains to know how she manages doing everything — without neglecting herself as a woman (she always puts on fashionable clothes and pretty make up!).
You have written a number of best-selling books. What is your favourite work to date, and why?
It’s hard to pick a ‘favorite child’, but I have to say my new book The Power in You is one of my favorites. It was born out of my concern on how young people in Indonesia, an important factor for Indonesia’s success in the future, has slowly losing trust in themselves. That’s why I wrote #ThePowerinYou to help them discover the infinite power within them. Happy to share my experience, tips and also written practices in the book to help you becoming your better self.
Having a number of businesses, while at the same time, being a prolific writer… When do you usually write? Are you a morning or night person?
I’m an after-nap person. But because I rarely nap during the day, I find morning is the best time and energy for me to write.
Where do you write?
I can write anywhere. I have a home office overlooking the window to my garden view, so it’s my favorite place to write. It’s filled with the sun, and I put things I love in the desk. From picture of me and my nephew, the lovely and positive messages from friends saying how awesome I am, a trophy for my achievement, positive energy stones like green jade and a motivational affirming words ‘I make things’ – everything to set the productive, loving and positive mood to help me focus with my writing goals.
Nonetheless, a solitude in coffee shop before a meeting or in my car during traffic is how I finished my books.
How do you write?
I write outline/concept first with pen and paper, just to let my brain easily give me information. Then, I will do some research on the internet until the information start repeating itself, then I know it’s time to write. If I’m on the road, I write with my tablet and sync it to my laptop so I can continue writing it on my laptop when I’m at home or available to write longer. I write with purpose and deadlines.
Do you listen to music while you write? What do you listen to while you write?
Not at all. I can’t write with music, especially music that I know and I can sing along lol. If I have to, subtle music on the background will do. I prefer classical or jazzy music.
How does your “writing day” typically look like?
I usually wake up at 5 am and start writing reflection on My Miracle Journal, where I record miracles that happen in my life daily. I use pen and my own notebook for that. Then, I start opening the last chapter of my book on my laptop, read it to get connected, then read other writers’ books that are similar to my genre to get the feelings and mood. It is followed by developing a concept on what I should write next with pen and paper, research and browse the internet, occassionally update social media telling them I’m writing at the moment…and finally write it all. I don’t stop before I reach 8 to 10 pages. After I am finished, I will celebrate by eating delicious food because I’m starving and watching videos on YouTube.
Could you please share the whole process for you in “conceiving” a novel/book? From the outlining process to the finishing touch?
Only 3 points for me.
First, I must figure out why I want to write this book. This will be my purpose and will hold my motivation to keep writing and finishing the book.
Second, I will define the title, premise and outline for this book from a to z. I must know how this book will start, how this will evolve and how this will end. Finally, I’ll set the exact date as a deadline and set my daily writing target. If I plan to finish 100 pages book in 30 days then I have to write at least 4 pages a day.
Then, I’ll write religiously. On the deadline date, I will stop writing whether it’s perfect or not. Then send it to my first readers and personal editor. They will give all their feedbacks and I will start the process of rewriting. Then my editors will read again, edit it, and time for final draft to be approved. Once it’s approved, now on to another fun part: cover and layout design + marketing plan :D
If I self-publish my own writing at NulisBuku.com, I usually create the cover first before I even write anything :))
#KetikaMenulis adalah serial tulisan yang berisi wawancara dengan penulis-penulis terkemuka di Indonesia, mengupas bagaimana mereka menjalani proses kreatif dalam pembuatan sebuah tulisan, termasuk kebiasaan-kebiasaan para penulis ketika menulis. #KetikaMenulis diterbitkan setiap hari Kamis di alandakariza.com. Ada nama penulis kamu kagumi dan inginnya bisa kita wawancarai? Cantumkan di kolom Komentar di bawah ya.