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Blogger Indonesia of the Week (32): Jennie S. Bev

Productivity Better Off Abroad?

Do Indonesian scholars & intellectuals need to live abroad to stay productive and prolific in a conducive environment? Many Indonesian scholars like Nadirsyah Hosen think so. One such case in point is Jennie S. Bev.

She’s arguably the most prolific contemporary Indonesian writers with “a 40+ books and over 900 articles published in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Singapore and Indonesia.”

Apart from that,

She is currently working on several other books and juggling projects while managing a boutique consulting firm based in San Francisco Bay Area and teaching college-level classes.

How does she manages the 24-hour-a-day time to write such plenty of books apart from her other hectic academic and family activities? “Passionate,” she told me. Granted. You cannot be a prolific writer in such a massive scale without being passionate to what you’re doing. And to be passionate in writing, you gotta be living in a country where your works got sufficient appreciation, socially and financially. You wouldn’t be able to write on full-time basis with insecure feeling about how to feed your kids, would you?

Another tips from her to be a prolific writer is “be a big dreamer.” Dream is not only beautiful, it also motivate you further, she says in her Bahasa Indonesia blog But she warns that to make your dream comes true, you gotta be selective and focussed on achieving your dream.

I personally proud to see her flourishing and shining in the US. Indonesia must be even prouder to see what one of her hardworking daughter has done not only for herself, but also for Indonesians. She’s currently running Style Career consulting which can be accessed for free and got special appreciation from Koran Tempo.

She tries her best to do something useful for Indonesia and Indonesians from abroad because Indonesia is “a land I hold so dear in my heart,” she told me the other day.

That’s why in one of her letter to me she said,

…I feel sad whenever people think that I don’t care about Indonesia, because I really do and have proven to myself (at least) that I could do meaningful things for Indonesia while being away from her. Of course, I will continue to contribute to Indonesia in my own unique way directly or indirectly. I also believe in “bridging” your own best people by being abroad.

Such kind of feeling is understandable. Indonesia, represented by its government, often forget to appreciate its best achievers. And that’s one reason why many of our sportpersons go abroad for better appreciation, not only for better living. We, as the people, should never ever do and repeat what our government did in the past.***
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