Registration Is Open for Two New Online Classes: The Finances of Self-Publishing and How to Develop a Writing Practice

Very excited to announce that I’m teaching two online classes with Hugo House this spring!

Take The Finances of Self-Publishing if you’re planning to self-publish a book and want to know 1) how much it’ll cost to produce the book and 2) how much you might earn back in sales. It’s a short course — just two hours’ worth of material spread over two weeks.

Take How to Develop a Writing Practice if you want to learn how to make time to write a book, a blog, or anything else you’ve been itching to put into words. This four-week course will get you writing right away, and help you build writing habits that will last a lifetime.

Both courses are group courses, which means that although you can work at your own pace within the course (there aren’t any class sessions that meet at specific times or anything like that), you’ll be part of a group of students who are all taking the same course at the same time. It’s an excellent way to get to know other writers.

Registration for both courses opens today, and you can get Early Bird pricing if you register before March 19.

Full course details below. If you have questions about either of these courses, leave ’em in the comments!

THE FINANCES OF SELF-PUBLISHING

April 18–April 25, 2019

Self-publishing is easier than ever—but it isn’t cheap. When you become your own publisher, you take on all the costs associated with publication: hiring editors and designers, getting industry reviews, planning book launches and book tours. This course will cover the finances of self-publishing, explain the types of expenses you can expect as a first-time publisher, and discuss ways to keep your costs low while still creating a professional-quality book.

HOW TO DEVELOP A WRITING PRACTICE

April 30—May 21, 2019

Successful writers understand that writing is not just an art—it’s also a practice. If you’re having trouble finding time to write or feel like you lack the motivation to complete your writing projects, this class is for you. Students will learn how to track their creative energy throughout the day, analyze their schedules to set aside time for writing, use measurable goals to maximize productivity while writing, and discuss how to remain committed to their writing practice long-term.

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Where I Got Published Today: Bankrate, Haven Life

Bankrate: The right credit card could be the right financial move in 2019:

If you’re paying for everyday expenses like groceries and restaurants without earning rewards, you’re leaving money on the table. Whether you choose a flat-rate cash back card that offers the same points on every purchase or a bonus category rewards card that gives you higher rewards for certain categories of purchases — and we’ve got a list of the pros and cons of both — you’re going to want one of the best rewards credit cards in your wallet. You’ll also want to use it for the majority of your purchases.

Otherwise, you’re going to do all that day-to-day spending without getting anything in return.

Haven Life: How to prepare your finances for a recession:

Remember, a recession doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll lose your job. Not all employers lay off employees during recessions, and many employers work hard to keep their best team members. However, they often look for other ways to cut costs. This might mean losing the coffee and donuts in the breakroom, or it might mean losing your 401(k) contribution match — so it’s in your best interests to claim as many employer benefits as you can while you’ve still got them.

Why Hank and John Green Argue We Should “Diversify Our Identities” (and Why I Agree)

I love the Dear Hank and John podcast, to the point where it gets bumped to the top of my podcast queue every time it releases. I haven’t listened to today’s episode yet, but I will this evening — and in the meantime I wanted to share a quote from last Monday’s episode, The Queen’s Dream Job, featuring John Green in conversation with Danielle Bainbridge of PBS’s Origin of Everything.

The quote comes about 15 minutes into the podcast, when John and Danielle answer a listener’s question about getting hired for a dream job. “How can I think of this as just another opportunity,” the listener asks, “and not the opportunity that I’d better not waste? If it doesn’t work out, how do I not see it as it’s all downhill from here?

In response, John Green describes the various emotions he went through after learning that his first novel, Looking for Alaska, would be published by Dutton Books — specifically his worry that he would never be able to write (or publish) another novel, and his subsequent realization that “If I hadn’t gotten to write another novel, I would have been able to do other things.”

John continues:

“I think one of the problems we have is that we often think, like, when we talk about what are you going to be when you grow up or what are you going to do with your life we imagine that you’re only going to be one thing or you’re only going to do one thing, and of course life isn’t like that. You end up doing a lot of things, and some of them you do professionally and some of them you don’t do professionally, but, you have to kind of… my brother always says that you have to diversify your identity. You have to see yourself not only as one thing. If you see yourself just as a YouTuber and your YouTube influence declines, it’s, like, catastrophic to your sense of self-worth.

“But if you’re able to diversify your identity, and understand that you’re also a brother and a father and a son and lots of other things, an AFC Wimbledon fan and whatever else, it becomes less of a devastation. I really do believe that.”

I agree with John — and, by association, Hank — but I’d also suggest that you have some identities that aren’t dependent on your relationship to someone else.

Right now, for example, I am a blogger and an author and a teacher and a freelance writer and a daughter and a sister and an aunt and a friend and a member of a choir, and all of these aspects of my identity are balanced in such a way that if one of them disappears (say, the one where I ran a LLC that should end up getting legally closed this week) I am not unmoored.

But this set of identities requires readers and clients and family members and friends and so on. They are dependent on how I am viewed by other people.

My identity as a pianist does not.

Yes, in the past I have worked as an accompanist and a lounge pianist and a church organist, but the thing about playing the piano is you can do it without being observed or evaluated and it still counts.

You can do it just for yourself.*

Same with biking or journaling or reading or knitting or dozens of other activities that serve as play when the rest of your life is going well and as anchors when the rest of your life isn’t. (You already know how much time I put in at the piano as The Billfold LLC was shutting down.)

Remember: play is a gift you give yourself; performance is a gift you give an audience.

So make sure at least one of your identities doesn’t require an audience to exist — and then you’ll exist too, even when when no one is watching. ❤️

*You can even play certain masterworks in ways you know the composer probably never intended, with intense shifts in dynamic and tempo, just because that’s how you want to do it and there’s no piano teacher hanging over your shoulder to tell you you’re doing it wrong.

THE LIFE Takes Work

So… this morning I was updating my post subheds using techniques I learned from Jane Friedman’s Magical Marketing Trifecta webinar, and I accidentally updated and published the first draft of my post THE LIFE Takes Work.

I didn’t end up using this draft because I thought it was too much about me and not enough about takeaways for the reader, but since my accidentally clicking “publish” meant it went out to all my email subscribers and RSS subscribers, might as well share it with everybody.

Have fun comparing and contrasting the two versions, and feel free to let me know which one you like better. ❤️

I remember exactly where I was (in my dorm room, in college) when I realized that sending a birthday card was not a single-step task.

First, you needed a birthday card. A blank card could do in a pinch, or a thank-you card with the words “thank you” crossed out and the words “happy birthday” written instead, if you were the kind of person who could pull that off; you could even fold a piece of printer paper in quarters and draw your own card, but you’d still need an envelope to put it in.

Then you needed to write the message.

Then you needed to address the card, which — if you didn’t have the address immediately at hand — could become a step of its own. You might have to dig your address book out of the back of a desk drawer (after searching two other desk drawers first, also, I went to college in the year 2000 when people still used address books). You might have to call your mom to get the address, which meant setting aside an hour for the chat that would come afterwards.

Then you needed to put a stamp on the card. If you were the kind of think-ahead person who bought stamps in books, you might already have one; if not, you’d have to go to the post office or to a place that sold stamps (and although drugstores and grocery stores do occasionally sell stamps, they don’t advertise it; you have to go to the special customer service desk and ask).

Then you needed to find a mailbox. I don’t remember exactly where the mailboxes were in college, but when I lived in Seattle the nearest blue mailbox was a half-mile away (which meant that mailing a letter involved a 20-minute walk; also no, there wasn’t any place to leave letters in my janky dump of an apartment) and the nearest post office was two miles away. (There were a few third-party “Sip and Ship” services that were closer, but there are some things you can only do at a USPS.)

So sending a birthday card, if you were willing to pay extra to buy the card at the post office, and if you had the address close at hand so you could write it on a scrap of paper before you left for the post office, could take a single 40-minute trip. (The extra minutes are for waiting in line at the post office to buy the stamp, or book of stamps if you’re feeling flush.)

But it would more likely be three individual errands: the procuring of the card, the writing and addressing, the stamping and mailing.

I currently have a box of 50 blank cards in assorted designs (though there are probably only 30ish cards left), but I’ve used up my most recent book of stamps. So instead of being able to write the cards and drop them off in the mail slot at my current (non-janky) apartment, I’ll need to block off 30-40 minutes to go to the post office.

I could order stamps online, but when I tried putting them in my cart and checking out, the USPS said I needed to create an account first, and I instinctively noped out of the tab even though I’m sure creating yet another account for yet another retailer would be fine, just fine.

Except it’s supposed to rain all day today, and tomorrow we’re scheduled for 40 mph winds. (I should mention that I don’t own a car; I walk, bike, bus, and take occasional rideshares.)

Which means I might need to order the stamps online after all.

I’m telling you this story because I, like most of the internet I follow, read Anne Helen Petersen’s How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation this weekend — and in my case I didn’t identify with it quite as much as everyone else on the internet seemed to.

Like, I get that something like “mailing a birthday card” is a task that your brain thinks should take five minutes, so you keep putting it off until the next day because it’ll only take five minutes, except when you finally think “I should write that birthday card” you realize you don’t even have a birthday card to write on, and then you think about the amount of steps it requires to get the card and the stamps and the rest of it and it feels overwhelming so you don’t do it.

I get that.

And part of me wants to say “well, if you implement a system like David Allen’s Getting Things Done then you can identify the birthday card task as three discrete errands and schedule them as such, ask me how I know,” but I also know that isn’t what Petersen is really writing about here.

She’s writing about the fact that work and life both take work, and that sometimes the work of work and the work of life are so much work that there isn’t any time left over for the actual life.

I’m not capitalizing work or life in these instances because neither are THE WORK or THE LIFE as defined in last Friday’s post — that is, Petersen’s not writing about the work we’d like to be doing or the life we’d like to be living, she’s writing about the work and life we’re stuck with, partially due to economic crises and late-stage capitalism and the increase in shadow work and smartphones keeping us tethered to our jobs and so on and so forth.

I actually liked Petersen’s post on how she wrote the burnout piece a lot better than the burnout piece itself, btw; it was more personal, and included details like (paraphrased) “maybe the reason why we hate running errands is because they take longer than they used to, thanks to companies cutting staff and forcing us to wait in ever-longer lines, etc. etc. etc.”

But the response to the burnout piece made me want to write about the idea that THE LIFE, and this time I mean the capitalized ideal LIFE you’d like to have, where there’s time to do the work you need to do (capitalized or not) and manage your responsibilities without feeling constantly burned out, takes work to create.

In fact, you could call THE LIFE a creative project of its own.

***

The first time I thought seriously about the life I wanted, and what I needed to do to create that life, was after grad school. I finished undergrad in 2004, moved to Minneapolis for an internship that fell through, and became a telemarketer. When I couldn’t stand telemarketing anymore I started temping at an insurance agency, which paid $13 an hour instead of $9 but was a much worse job; my two major tasks were stuffing envelopes in a silent, windowless room and, four times a day, pushing a heavy cart of copy paper around the office to refill the copy machines. This was before earbuds were a thing, so I kept my brain busy by reciting poems and song lyrics and chunks of text from my favorite books in my head, and decided — whether accurately or not — that the only way out of this type of work was to go back to school.

Like Petersen, I went into grad school with the idea that I would become an academic; I graduated knowing that it was unlikely I would ever become one (or at least not the tenure-track kind), and so I asked one of my professors what kind of job I could get, with my skills, that paid $50,000 a year.

He told me to become an executive assistant.

This is all the uninteresting part of the story, except maybe the part where I committed myself to earning at least $50,000 a year. That was the first step in my decision to create my own life, and maybe it was the most important one (money plays such a huge role in both THE WORK and THE LIFE, after all), but as soon as I got that $50K+ admin job (after a move to Washington DC, a stint on my sister’s air mattress, and a temp job as a receptionist) I took two more steps towards building THE LIFE I wanted:

  1. I told myself I would only rent an apartment that was two miles away from where I worked, so I could walk to work and back every day. This was because a few years prior I had done some housesitting for a professor who lived two miles away from campus, and that morning/evening walk made me happier than just about anything.
  2. I also told myself I wanted to be near an Ashtanga yoga studio, because I had studied yoga off-and-on in the past but now I wanted to start studying seriously.*

At this point I need to acknowledge just how much luck was involved here.** It was August 2007, so we had recovered (mostly) from the dot-com crisis and had yet to fall into the Great Recession. I would not have gotten a starting salary of over $50K if I had been hired six months later. Without that salary, I would probably not have gotten my apartment, though I might have been able to find another one within the desired two-mile radius. There’s a lot that went right for reasons out of my control.

Still, I went into this next phase of my life with deliberate intention, which I’d never really done before. I knew the work I was doing as an executive assistant wasn’t THE WORK I wanted to do with my life. But I had a few key components of THE LIFE I wanted to live, including THE MONEY, all of which probably prevented the burnout that might have come otherwise.

***

Since then, I’ve spent the rest of my life trying to get closer to THE WORK I want to do, THE LIFE I want to live, and THE MONEY I need to fund it all. I’ve made a lot of specific, active choices in the process, some of which led me closer to what I wanted and some of which turned out to be not what I wanted at all.

One of those choices was to get really into time management (in the Getting Things Done sense), which is why I have a box of 50 blank cards at my desk and a list of tasks I need to complete, by day, scheduled a month in advance. Homemaking takes work too, after all.***

Other choices involved — well, I think I’ll save some of those choices for later this week, because this is long enough (and because I want you to have a reason to come back tomorrow, mwah ha ha).

I will note that choosing what you want your life to be like includes some very difficult decisions; in the past year I made the choice to move closer to my parents, for example, which has given me the chance to know my parents better and take advantage of living in an affordable, artsy, bike-friendly Midwestern city, but which also separated me from several close friends, tied me to a particular location, and set up the shape of what my life might look like in the future (a larger caretaking component, probably). I also recently made a choice to take on a creative project that did in fact lead me very close to burnout, and when I realized what that choice had done to my life I had to finish my commitment to the project and then accept that I could no longer take on projects like that; I had too many responsibilities and long-term goals and physical needs for sleep and etc. that took priority.

Plus — and I figure you’re going to put this together on your own at some point, so I might as well make it super-clear — I have chosen and embraced spinsterhood, which gives me certain freedoms (such as the freedom to relocate to an affordable Midwestern city without considering how it might affect a partner or children).

But I’m not telling you all of this because I think your life should be like mine. I’m telling you this because I think making choices about THE LIFE you want takes work, and it’s really easy to find yourself in the life you have instead, and it’s that disparity, as much as the birthday cards and the post office and the rest of it, that causes burnout.

Also money, because money is always involved.

Also there’s a question of whether there’s always a choice you can make, in the “even if your life is nothing like THE LIFE you want, you can still recite poetry in your head at your terrible job and by doing so keep a bit of your own soul” sense, and I will note that during that particular job I did feel relatively soulless, and maybe the only reason I’m writing this now is because I got lucky.****

But more on this tomorrow. ❤️

*I did find a studio, and I’ve kept up my Ashtanga practice ever since.

**Privilege was also involved, of course. In 2007 I was both privileged and ordinary, in the sense that I had advantages that many people didn’t but people with my advantages were a dime a dozen.

***I was once on this panel where someone asked me how I found the time to do all of the creative work I get done, and I explained that I went at it the other way around — I set aside the time to do all of the life-stuff that needs doing (including rest/recharge time) so I could give the rest of the time to my creative work. It was at the point where I said “and the dishes take 20 minutes every night, so subtract 20 minutes for that…” that the audience started laughing.

****And privileged.

Three Articles on BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

The Cut: What I Bought With My Oprah’s Book Club Money

Five months before my fourth book, An American Marriage, was published, I was driving in my car late in the evening and I got a call from Oprah. At first I thought it was the books editor at O magazine. I’ve written for them in the past, and she told me she had a little review or something that needed to be done, so I was expecting her call. Oprah played a trick on me! I picked up the phone and she said, “Hey, girl. This is Oprah.”

I loved Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage, and I love this piece in which she explains how it did (and didn’t) change her life financially.

Reedsy: The 15 Best Books on Writing: A Reading List for Novelists

1. On Writing by Stephen King

Perhaps the most-cited book on this list, On Writing is part-memoir, part-masterclass from one of America’s leading authors. Come for the vivid accounts of his childhood — and his extended “lost weekend” of drinking and drugs in the 1980s. Stay for the specific, actionable advice on what it takes to become an author. Among the many craft-based tips are King’s expert takes on plot, story, character, and more.

From the book: “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

I still haven’t read On Writing. I just put a library hold on a copy.

The Morning News: The 2019 Tournament of Books

Here’s how it works. Throughout the year, we gather, read, and assess the works of fiction we think would make worthy tournament competitors. In December we present our findings in the form of a “long list.” We then cull it to a final shortlist of 16 or so books. (Some years we expand the list beyond the core 16 to include an extra set of two or more books that compete in a pre-tournament play-in match.)

Yes, it’s March Madness for books. As far as I know, there aren’t groups of people forming office pools to bet on the brackets, but if I were putting money somewhere, it would be on Tommy Orange’s There There.

Saturday Open Thread

It’s the Saturday Open Thread! Let’s discuss LITERALLY ANYTHING!

Here’s what’s on my mind right now: I have, as of late, read at least ten different “how to complete big creative projects” or “how to be financially independent” or “how to live a good life” books, and although the details in each book are all slightly different, they all come down to two basic tenets:

PRIORITIES

and

BOUNDARIES.

Know what you want, and don’t let all the other people and commercials and cultural influences that claim you should want something different get in the way.

Discuss.

Where I Got Published Today: Bankrate

Your guide to Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards

If you want your credit card rewards to go further, you might be interested in Wells Fargo’s Go Far® Rewards program. This credit card loyalty program rewards Wells Fargo cardholders for everyday spending, gives you the chance to earn bonus rewards while you shop and invites you to redeem rewards for everything from cash back to once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

How I’ve Grown My Blog (Since January)

In preparation for Jane Friedman’s Magical Marketing Trifecta webinar this evening — which you can still sign up for, tickets are only $15 — I thought I’d take a look at how I’d grown Nicole Dieker Dot Com since revamping it in January.

According to Jetpack, I’ve already brought more viewers to my blog this year than I did in all of 2018; my total 2018 views were 15,433, and views since January 1, 2019 are currently at 17,366.

Going from bi-monthly-ish posts to daily posts helped this growth, as did getting a few retweets from people and organizations with lots of followers, like the Reedsy Discovery post that Reedsy has now retweeted/reshared twice. (Full disclosure: Reedsy invited me to write that post, though I was not paid for it. I said yes because I support Reedsy’s work and because I knew it would bring more potential readers to Nicole Dieker Dot Com.)

Twitter and Google search share the top spot for “most common way readers find my blog,” followed by The Billfold — no real surprises there.

The most common search term used to find this blog is “Nicole Dieker,” followed by a few search strings related to self-publishing and a few search strings where people, assumedly readers who are already familiar with the blog, are clearly trying to find a specific post (e.g. “Nicole Dieker the work and the life are two separate things.“)

This suggests that if I want to boost readership through search, I should write more posts on self-publishing — and I have one of those in the works for next week, so that’s a start.

Here’s a list of the most popular posts this quarter:

From this data, it looks like a lot of people are hitting the front page of Nicole Dieker Dot Com but not reading any of the posts — which, right now, are only shown as excerpts (that is, you see the first few sentences but have to click to read the post). I wonder if tweaking the blog so it showed full posts on the front page would encourage people to start reading and following.

On the subject of followers: 23 readers are currently subscribed to my blog through WordPress, and 20 are subscribed through email. (If you want to subscribe, check the sidebar to sign up by email and the admin bar — which you’ll only see if you also have a WordPress blog — to sign up through WordPress.)

Since installing Jetpack Ads in January, 30,292 ads have been served with an average CPM of $0.52. Total earnings from ads: $15.70.

Going forward, it looks like the best way to continue growing Nicole Dieker Dot Com might include:

  • Writing more posts about self-publishing
  • Writing more posts that can be retweeted by people/orgs with lots of followers
  • Reviewing self-published books submitted to Reedsy Discovery, which will get me retweeted/shared both by Reedsy and by the authors (and will also be beneficial to both Reedsy and the authors, it’s not all about me)

I don’t want this to be “just a self-publishing blog,” in part because I wouldn’t recommend anyone have “just a self-publishing career.” It’s a good way to make money as a writer — so good, in fact, that I’m going to be teaching an online class on the finances of self-publishing next month — but it’s not going to be your sole source of income unless you are in the top 1 percent or whatever of self-published authors. So I want this to be a site about all the aspects of a creative career, including “how to build multiple income streams” and “how to schedule your workflow to accommodate multiple income streams.”

And, like, the personal posts about my life, my writing, my vulnerabilities and struggles — because I want to be realistic about all of this, and honest, and not one of those blogs that’s all “here are ten impersonal tips that we are sure will work for everybody.”

Also, the personal posts tend to be the ones that garner the most response, because readers — and writers like me who write for those readers — value connection.

Anyway, that is The State of the Blog on Friday, March 8, 2019.

Let’s see what I think about all of this a few hours from now, after I finish taking Jane Friedman’s webinar. ❤️

On Writing for the Reader, Not (Just) for Yourself

My NEXT BOOK draft is currently at 8,916 words, and I’m hoping to break 10,000 by this weekend.

(Remember, I started drafting on February 21, so… two weeks ago.)

This draft is delightfully messy and somewhat ridiculous, in the “I don’t know which vivid description is the vividest so I’m just going to write three different options in a row and pick one later” sense. It’s a very different process from The Biographies of Ordinary People, in part because it’s a very different book — this story is about mysterious strangers and hidden doors and unexpected worlds, and since I’m not doing the whole “let’s just describe the library in my hometown but make it a little different” thing, there’s a lot more “is it this? is it that? let’s get something on the page now and we can make it more specific later.”

There is one area in which I am trying to stretch myself, and it has to do with something I learned at the Maggie Stiefvater Portraits and Dreams seminar: whenever possible, make the most exciting choice.

This has made this draft… a lot more fun. 😉

The trouble is that I’m second-guessing myself, a bit, on what I might find exciting compared to what a reader might find exciting. For example: at one point in the story our heroine sees the Mysterious Stranger, for whom she’s actively been looking after committing the grievous error of refusing his initial call to adventure. (Because that’s how heroes journey, y’all.)

So.

Option one: she goes to Mystery House and there he is, just hanging out in the lobby. Meh.

Option two: she goes to Mystery House, thinks he isn’t there, and then when she turns around to leave THERE HE IS. Slightly more exciting. Also kind of cinematic, but in a cliched way. What you’d expect, really.

The option that’s currently in the draft: she goes to Mystery House, does not find him, gets frustrated with this whole biz, pushes her way through a group of people who are getting ready to tour the Historical Landmark House That Is Definitely Not Full Of Hidden Doorways, opens the coat closet, and MYSTERIOUS STRANGER IS THERE AND HE PULLS HER INSIDE.

Now, I’m already seeing as I write this blog post that the way to fix this scene is to change the PULLING ASPECT, which is EXCITING TO ME (because I have had the specific experience of being pulled into a secret makeout nook by this person I had a crush on, and even though I had not verbally consented I had already consented multiple times in my imagination, so I was all, like, finally*) but PROBABLY NOT EXCITING TO EVERYONE FOR REASONS THAT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS, to a BECKONING ASPECT.

I can probably keep the part where he takes her hand. That’s exciting! His mysterious touch is mysteriously electric! I can definitely keep the part where they hang out in the closet until the tour group goes by and then sneak out so they can go into one of the Hidden Doorways, because that’s also exciting IF WE KNOW AS A READER THAT OUR HEROINE WANTS TO BE THERE.

Which I’ve totally established with the whole “she goes back to Mystery House looking for adventure” thing, but could make a little clearer by having him take her hand — or even just hold it out, Aladdin-style — and say something like “Come in,” or “you can hide in here,” or whatever, you get the idea. An exciting version of that.

I mean, there’s got to be some balance at this point in the story, because our heroine isn’t full-on ADVENTURE LET’S DO THIS yet. She’s more like “I can’t stop thinking about that mysterious guy and his stinkin’ mystery doors, so I’d better go back to the mystery house so I can just stop asking myself whether I should go back to the mystery house.” This part of the story shouldn’t be THIS IS EXCITING, it should be more like IS THIS EXCITING? YES IT IS! BUT ALSO A LITTLE SCARY.

But the scary part shouldn’t be WORRYING THAT THIS GUY JUST PULLED HER INTO A COAT CLOSET WITHOUT ASKING.

Okay, so I think I just solved this problem.

Anyway, MAKE EXCITING CHOICES! And then figure out if they’re equally exciting to the reader, for the right reasons.

Also, feel free to take bets on whether any part of the “getting all flirty in a coat closet” thing will make it into the final draft. It’s a little Chronicles of Narnia-esque, plus there are connotations associated with the words “hiding in the closet” that I may want to avoid. So maybe he invites her to hide in the pantry, instead. Or something else. I’ll figure it out. ❤️

*I should note that, although being pulled into Secret Makeout Nook by Secret Crush ranks as one of the best makeouts I’ve ever had, it was also a good prognosticator of the way that very brief non-relationship was going to go (he got to decide when and where and how we interacted, I got the anxiety of sitting around waiting for him to decide to spend time with me). INTERESTING.