Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Writer Wednesday - Nicole Dieker

I'm not exactly sure where I found Nicole Dieker's blog first, but I do know that what most impressed me about it was her feature on how much money she makes every week. As anyone who knows me knows, I love talking about money, and I feel like the more honest we are about it, the better off we'll all be. For revealing all her numbers, I think Nicole is not only really brave, she's also doing an amazing service to all us freelance writers out there trying to figure out what's up. And, of course, her writing itself is awesome. I especially loved her piece of where the American Girls are now. I hope you'll follow the links as you read through her interview!


Nicole Dieker

Who are you? My name is Nicole Dieker. I am a freelance copywriter and ghostwriter, and I am also a freelance essayist and fiction writer, which I am discovering are all very different kinds of jobs. In addition to this work, I also perform regularly at nerd conventions -- I sing original nerd-folk music with my guitar, under the band name Hello, The Future!

So... I work a lot, and that is usually the answer to the "who are you" question. Here are a few other answers: rock climber, Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons player, Sea Monkey, Browncoat, avid reader, Fireball whiskey drinker, good friend.

I mean, I hope. I hope, about that last one.

Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? Remember, you're in a hot tub with them on a clear cold night, stars twinkling above you. They want all the details. If not, tell the hot-tub-stranger about your writing in such a way that makes them urge you to get an online receptacle for it. If I were in a hot tub with a stranger who started asking me about my work, I would totally self-deprecate and change the subject. I mean, who wouldn't? But if they really wanted to know, would tell them that my copywriting is designed to be invisible; that my ghostwriting is designed to seamlessly integrate into an existing publication; that my essays are either about money or about classic children's literature, including a huge piece I just did on American Girl, since these are the two subjects for which people want to pay.

(Clicking on those links gets you some of my best essays. I assume we're all on the same page here.)

Still in the hot tub, we would no doubt start talking about money. I talk about money a lot. It is my battle cry. Freelancers need to make money. Every week, I tally up the money I've earned and the work I've completed and post it to my Tumblr.

What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen? Blogging was a natural evolution from keeping diaries. I started blogging almost as soon as it became an option.

I also literally started writing as soon as I could manipulate a pencil. My first book was called Marijana's Dream, except I spelled it Deram. I was five, and the story contained maybe 50 words total. But I wanted to write a book, including folding the paper in half and drawing a cover, and so I did.

Why do you write? So many different reasons. I write because it is one of the few effective ways to make something happen. I write because I believe that stories explain life better than actual life does. I write because I like to ask questions and then look for the answers. I write because, like Jo March and Emily Starr discovered, it is one of the few ways for a person to earn money that doesn't require significant overhead.

Oh, look, I managed to turn the subject around to money again. And classic literature. And it only took four sentences.

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you? Heather Havrilesky, who posts these amazing long essays about life and relationships every week at The Awl. Nicole Cliffe and Mallory Ortberg, the two editors at The Toast. My friend Alice Lee, who single-handedly created Yearbook Office. Also Josh A. Cagan, who not only is talented in his own right but also has the unexpected skill of being able to mentor other artists.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Right now I'm about to head off on a yearly nerd cruise called JoCo Cruise Crazy. It would be nice if that could be retroactively paid for.

Otherwise: Geneva. I've been to a lot of European and Asian cities, but I haven't been there. I've heard it's very organized.

What is your favorite place on earth? A library. Any library. Currently I favor the Seattle Central Library.

Anything else you'd like us to know? I think if you click every link in this post, you'll have everything you need.

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