Welcome, Seattle Review of Books Readers!

Hi! Just wanted to say 1) WELCOME and 2) the Seattle Review of Books is a great site, isn’t it? Even though I no longer live in Seattle, I still keep up with the reviews and links and upcoming events. (Also, I read Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do last summer—it’s so good—and I envy your upcoming Seattle Reads conversations.)

If you’d like to know a little more about what to expect from Nicole Dieker Dot Com: I run a post a day, most of which are about writing, freelancing, and developing a long-term creative practice. Some of these posts are also about what I’m learning as I draft my next book (which I call “NEXT BOOK,” because I’m an Old Millennial who still thinks all caps are cool). Most recently, I’ve been outlining my thoughts on developing plot and character through conflict.

I also post “where I got published today” roundups, because this is about both the art and the finances of the creative life.

Plus book reviews, Friday open threads, guest posts, AND MORE.

My most recent greatest hits are listed in the right-hand column, if you’d like to see what other readers have enjoyed. (If you’re reading this on a phone: just keep scrolling until they show up.)

So… welcome! Glad to have you here, feel free to subscribe by email or RSS, and hope to see you in the comments section! ❤️


I’m Writing Daily Posts for Lifehacker!

If you enjoyed my daily financial blogging at The Billfold, add Lifehacker to your reading list or RSS feed — I’ll be writing two daily posts for them for the next several weeks as they look for a full-time personal finance writer. (Here’s how to apply, if you’re interested.)

I’ve written for Lifehacker before, of course, but today was my first day in the interior of the Lifehacker machine, as it were.

Expect another post later this week on how this new gig is reshaping my daily schedule. ❤️

Reedsy Discovery Wants to Match Indie Authors to Readers

You already know that I am a huge Reedsy fan; they’ve got a wealth of tools to help writers draft, edit, and market their books, including the plot structure infographics I wrote about earlier this month.

Reedsy also featured this very blog as one of their 12 Author Websites That Get It Right, putting Nicole Dieker Dot Com on par with David Sedaris and J.K. Rowling.

Plus, in 2017, they invited me to judge a short-story contest.

So yeah, I’m all in for Reedsy, and as soon as my NEXT BOOK draft is at the ARC stage — which, since the draft is currently at 6,908 words, probably won’t happen until next year — I’m going to submit it to Reedsy’s new indie author service, Reedsy Discovery.

Reedsy Discovery lets reviewers share their favorite new indie books with an audience of eager readers

Here’s how Reedsy Discovery works (I’m going to go ahead and quote Reedsy here):

When you sign up to Discovery, your book will be presented to a pool of experienced and relevant reviewers that have been hand-selected by the team at Reedsy. For maximum suitability, they get to choose what they review — so make sure that your title, synopsis, and cover catches their eye!

Then, on the launch date of your choice (which, we’re imagining might coincide with your publishing date) your book will be promoted to thousands of registered readers who can then:

Browse your sample chapter 👀

Comment on it 💬

Lovingly admire your cover design 😍

Read your review (if you have one) 🤓

Upvote the book 👍

And purchase it through your chosen online retailers 💸

The Reedsy Discovery service costs $50, and I’m betting that being an early adopter might get your book a little more visibility, so if you’ve got fifty bucks and a book that’s in the ARC-and-marketing stage, why not give it a try? Use the Reedsy Discovery Launch Prep Checklist to make sure your book is Discovery-ready, and then send it out and see what happens!

Reedsy Discovery is also looking for talented book reviewers

You can also apply to be a Reedsy Discovery reviewer and get paid to read and review books — which is something I’m considering doing, but I don’t know if I can both be a reviewer and an author. (THIS IS A GOOD QUESTION FOR REEDSY, IF YOU’RE READING THIS BLOG POST. OR I COULD JUST EMAIL YOU.)

The reviewer payout doesn’t come directly from Reedsy; it comes from readers who can give you tips in exchange for your reviews:

When readers enjoy your work, they can send $1, $3 or $5 your way. These small thankyou’s can help you earn money from your reading addiction / passion.

I’m not sure how many people will tip Reedsy Reviewers — that’s still to be seen — so for me the draw isn’t the money. It’s the ability to grow my blog readership by getting Nicole Dieker Dot Com in front of a larger audience. (Remember that series of posts I wrote about audience-building?)

After all, every author whose book I review will share my review with their audience, and every author looking for a book review blog that’s still actively posting* will give Nicole Dieker Dot Com a visit, and so on.

But enough about me. This post is supposed to be about Reedsy Discovery, after all.

So go check it out — and then leave a comment if you’re interested in submitting your book and/or becoming a reviewer! ❤️📚💸

*If you’ve ever clicked through one of those “lists of book review blogs” — and Reedsy has such a list — you’ll learn just how many of those blogs are no longer actively posting reviews or no longer accepting submissions. But I love doing book reviews, and I’ve already decided that I’m going to do a weekly book review on this blog, so… let’s see if Reedsy Discovery wants me on their team.

Pitch Me

So… one of the things I loved most about editing The Billfold was getting to work with freelance writers.

Specifically, helping writers develop thoughtful, thought-provoking pieces (and/or running pieces that didn’t need much development because they were already amazing) and then PAYING THE WRITERS.

And then I thought “well, why can’t I keep doing that?”

For obvious reasons, I do not have the budget to run as many guest posts on Nicole Dieker Dot Com as I did on The Billfold.

But I can run two per month, at $50 per piece.

If you are interested in pitching Nicole Dieker Dot Com, I am looking for posts that lend personal insight to any aspect of the creative practice.

Such as:

  • How you balance your creative work with your other responsibilities.
  • How you fund your creative work.
  • How you make money from your creative work.
  • The rituals you do when you begin or end a work session.
  • The planning you do (or don’t do) before you start a new project.
  • What you do when you get stuck.
  • How you are building your audience.
  • Etc.

I am interested in pieces from both people who are beginning their creative practice and people who have spent some time sustaining a creative practice. However, I’m only interested in pieces that are about actions you’ve already taken and what you’ve learned from them.

In other words, I’m not interested in “I’m going to wake up an hour earlier every morning to write my novel.” I’m interested in “I tried waking up an hour earlier every morning to write my novel and here’s what happened.”

It doesn’t have to be novels, btw. Any type of creative work in any medium counts.

Minimum 1,000 words. Maximum AS LONG AS YOU WANT.

Send pitches to dieker.nicole@gmail.com.

I won’t be able to accept all of the pitches I receive, so if I turn your pitch down please don’t take it personally.

But I look forward to working with as many of you as I can. ❤️

On Shutting Down The Billfold

This morning I announced that The Billfold would stop publishing new articles after February 20.

I’ve known this would happen for a while, long enough for me to process the loss and make plans for the future.

But breaking the news is still a very hard thing to do. (I mean, why would I write “still?” Telling someone that something they cared about is going to end is always hard.)

I’m at the point where I see The Billfold’s ending as a new beginning, and I did my best in the shutdown announcement to communicate that possibility to Billfold readers.

But they haven’t had the chance to process the loss yet.

So, Billfolders, know that I’m thinking of you and feeling for you today. ❤️

New Year, New Blog

So it’s twenty-ought-nineteen, in the sense that a lot of us are feeling like we ought to be in a different place right now (we said “happy new year,” and now we have to make it happen), and I’ve started to feel like this ought to be a different kind of blog.

Actually, I thought about creating a whole new blog. Something to pair with The Billfold, but instead of having honest conversations about money, we’d have honest conversations about The Work. By which I mean both the work we do for money and the creative work we’d like to do (and/or are currently doing) with an emphasis on the creative end of things.

Also, how to turn that creative work into work we do for money, because you can’t have a conversation with me for too long before personal finance gets involved.

Unfortunately, The Work was already taken. So was The Candle (because we burn it at both ends?) and The Breath (because it inspires us?) and all of the other catchy “the noun” titles I thought of.

I came very close to starting a blog called The Creative Practice Club, because Dot Club is now a thing, but that sounded like way too corporate. (Although I do, in fact, want this to be a creative practice club. It is a very accurate description of what I hope this space becomes.)

But — because you can’t have a conversation with me for too long before personal finance gets involved — when I looked into how much it might cost to start a new for-real professional blog, with the WordPress Dot Orgs and the fancy Jetpacks and the rest, I asked myself “do I really need to pay $300 to build something brand-new, when I have a perfectly good Nicole Dieker Dot Com already set up and in the budget?”

So here we are.

I want to do a post a day, Monday-through-Friday. I am going to use a lot of what I learned from The Billfold, which means there will be Question Wednesdays (though they might not be on Wednesdays) where I ask you a question that’s on my mind and then invite you to answer and/or discuss your own questions in the comments, and there’ll probably be Link Roundups or in-depth discussions of inspirational articles, plus occasional Nicole Recommendses.

But the core of this project is to share everything I’ve learned about Doing The Work, which is another title I can’t use because Steven Pressfield already used it (good book, though I like The War of Art better) and explore some of the questions and issues I’m coming up against as I continue to Do The Work.

Also, to explore your questions and celebrate your accomplishments. Because this is a Creative Practice Club, after all.

See you all tomorrow. ❤️