Pratiwi Juliani: The Work of a Soul

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The root of my work is the humanity within every person.

Pratiwi Juliani is a writer from South Kalimantan. She runs Jules Bookstore in Rantau, and collects and distributes books for a public library for underprivileged women and children in the remote areas of Indonesia. She was selected as an Emerging Writer for Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2018. Her collection of short stories, Atraksi Lumba-Lumba can be purchased here.


On reading

I wrote for the first time back in the early 2017. For me, writing is the most appropriate way to communicate, or convey a certain point, because it takes a longer process than merely talking verbally, giving more time to the conveyer to think deeper, allowing a discussion to occur internally before having said point ready to be sent across. Writing, for me, is a friendly process with my self, and a pleasant way to be studying; for I have to read more, research, and consider words so it refers accordingly, direct focus, and others. People will be more inspired, or influenced, or even transform after reading a book. This is what makes writing so interesting. It liberates the mind, hones and sharpen your tactics, as well as expanding your insights. Writing has to be accountable under pressure.

On home

I grew up in a hometown that has changed a lot. As I grew up, I am met by the feeling that the further I go, the stronger my memories about my hometown becomes. These are the memories that I select, I cut, and attach into my stories. Whatever has happened in the past can come back to life, and permit other people to live within the stories. In this way, my hometown will never be foreign. It is now eternal.

On writing

I write on a small notebook lying down, alone, for days. Most times I can go on without eating or cleaning regularly. It is challenging for me to write in (front) of a computer or when I am with someone else, because for me writing is not a labor; writing is a session of internal dialogue. I wrote (and entirely rewrote), a novel that will be published in next year in a month, and written an collection of short stories that has been published, within a month, both under the publication of the Comma Books and Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia. I write at least 4000 words per day, reread it, edit it, and fix it. Should ever I write again in the future, I can’t be certain of the time taken to write it. I won’t rule out the possibility of a change in my habit

On emotions

Usually, my head is full of thoughts and emotions that stirs inside. It could be something I read, or heard, or witnessed. When I reach a boiling point, whenI can’t hold it all in any longer, I will start to write. This is how I find catharsis.

On humanity

The root of my work is the humanity – however small it may seem – within every person. This is where life occurs and oscillate. This is their heart. Where will my writing expand towards? I do not know. Just like every other human being, I do not know what will happen the next second. For me, there is nothing broader and more surprising than an action that is taken by the demands of the human heart itself. As long as we are free, new doors will continue opening. A work is like a soul. We do not know the form that it took before the birth, and we will never know where it will grow, or where it will stop. Not before we die.