Bridging Stories, Building Legacy

Nine years ago, a story unfolded.

On January 29, 2015, IDWRITERS stepped into the public limelight at Goethe-Institut Jakarta, marking the official introduction of our literary sanctuary to the world. This public release is just the beginning of our narrative.

The words above are what I wrote on IDWRITERS’ “About Us” page, marking a pivotal milestone in the journey of IDWRITERS’ presence. Even though it’s not a birthday, it remains worthy of remembrance, as that day signifies the official introduction of IDWRITERS to the public.

I mark its anniversary in June, precisely on June 28, 2014, when I first made this website accessible to the public using its official domain. So, in just a few short months, IDWRITERS will celebrate a decade (There are plans in the works, not ready to share yet. But let’s see what happens.)

But speaking of age, has much changed in these nine or almost ten years of IDWRITERS’ existence? Though not profoundly significant, I can affirm that changes have indeed taken place.

Particularly noteworthy are the figures that accompany the diversity and completeness of IDWRITERS’ database. The interface, too, has undergone several refreshing updates, if not outright transformations. Or perhaps, the database hasn’t expanded significantly in numbers, but one thing is certain: the ecosystem of data has grown substantially thicker.

With “just under” 600 writers, 800 books from around 250 publishers, and 745 contributing authors—individuals I credit for significant contributions to the publications of Indonesian writers, including journalists, illustrators, translators, and reviewers—IDWRITERS has over 1000 articles (all in English) about Indonesian authors and their works. This extends to nearly 350 media outlets and dozens of translated works featured in these platforms.

The numbers are not meager, yet not excessive or flawless. However, this cultural endeavor—staying true to the non-profit path, relying on donations and volunteers, which may be less glamorous or enticing to support compared to projects with more visible benefits for the world of literature and books in Indonesia—I am genuinely grateful that it continues to exist and stand tall to this day.

I feel that I haven’t been able to contribute much, haven’t made any significant impact. The levels of completeness, validity, richness, and, of course, the ability to cover the entire spectrum haven’t reached the point I envisioned. We’re far from our full potential. Honestly, IDWRITERS is still moving at a measured pace. However, I accept it, understanding that IDWRITERS is on a path they carved themselves.

So, may this creation endure, and may I continue to be granted the strength to protect and nurture it. Personally, when life gets tough, IDWRITERS becomes a beautiful thing to stare at for me. I can gaze, scroll, navigate through various pages, add a record or two when something new arises, observe visitor statistics, and smile gently when I see specific pages being visited, even from the farthest corners of the Earth, whispering to myself: “Glad to be of assistance.”

Jakarta, January 29, 2024

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