Blog Profile / Aliventures

Filed Under:Lifestyle / Productivity
Posts on Regator:242
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Archived Since:July 26, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Could Firmer Boundaries Help You Dramatically Increase How Much You Write?

Back when I was a student, I had long vacations. Sometimes, I’d attend my previous writing group, back in my home town, where members would bring about 1,000 words of their work-in-progress to read each Monday evening. Guess how many words I wrote each week? About 1,000. It took me the whole of a Monday, […]

Seven Ways to Market Your Self-Published Novel

Congratulations! You’ve published your first novel (or maybe your second or your third) and now you’re ready to market it. This can be a daunting moment. I think all of us secretly hope that our novel will be miraculously discovered and recognised as the masterpiece it truly is … but we know that isn’t going […]

Your Website is Always a Work in Progress

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of authors, bloggers and freelancers launch their websites. They rarely start out with a massively, gorgeous site. They normally begin with something simple but workable: perhaps it’s a free blog on, for instance, or a single page on The wonderful (and sometimes frustrating) thing about websites […]

When Can You Call Yourself a “Writer”?

This is a question that comes up a lot for newer writers. When can I call myself a “writer”? Well, there’s no rule about it. Being a writer isn’t like being a doctor or a lawyer – you don’t need any special qualifications. That can be very helpful, but it can also be tricky. When […]

Three Ridiculous Moans from New Writers … and How I’d Respond

Most writers are reasonably pragmatic about the realities of writing. While they might daydream (secretly or not-so-secretly) about their talent being “discovered” by someone prominent in the writing industry … they know that’s not really going to happen. Occasionally, though, I come across fairly new writers whose expectations are so far removed from reality that […]

2017 Roundup: Did You Miss Any of These Aliventures Posts?

I’m going to be taking some time off over the Christmas and New Year period – so I won’t be blogging again until mid-January. In the meantime, if you want a bit of holiday reading, here are some posts from 2017 you might like to catch up with … or re-read. (And if this isn’t […]

Twelve Wise and Inspiring Quotes About Writing

December is always a big month for me: I love celebrating Christmas and the New Year, of course, but it’s also when my birthday falls (on December 12th). For me, this time of year always involves some reflection on how the past eleven and a bit months have gone … and some thoughts about what […]

Can You Freelance Just on the Weekends?

I had a great question in from a reader last week. He explained that he was in a full-time job and asked if it was possible to freelance just on the weekends. I’ll give you the good news first: Yes, it absolutely is. Many freelancers start out working around a regular day job (or working […]

How to Be a More Disciplined Writer

In this month’s newsletter, I’ve been a short weekly article about procrastination and resistance, and I wanted to carry on this theme in today’s blog post. If you’re missing out on the newsletter, click here to find out about it – the link will open in a new tab so you don’t lose your place […]

Why Some Writers Are Much Faster than Others: Four Quotes and Six Key Reasons

I’ve written before about writing fast versus writing slow – but it’s an issue I wanted to look at again, particularly in terms of how many words per hour or per day is a “good” rate of writing. In my late teens, I mentioned to a fellow member of my writing group that I normally […]

Short Story Competitions: Are They Worth Entering?

Over the years, I’ve entered a fair few short stories into competitions. I’m a novelist by inclination, and so most of my fiction writing has been on much longer projects … but I’ve found short stories a great way to try out different techniques, to work to deadline, and to simply have fun. If you’ve […]

Has Your Blogging Gone as Well as You’d Hoped in 2017? Announcing Blog On

How’s 2017 been for you? It’s been a mixed year for me: in some ways, I accomplished a lot more than I was expecting (I wrote a whole novella that I hadn’t even thought of back in January) … but inevitably, some of the projects I’d planned to do didn’t quite work out. For the […]

Is Your Writing Just an Expensive Hobby (and So What If It Is?)

Do you see your writing as a profession or a hobby? Or both? While some writers insist that writing is much more than a hobby – it’s a job, a business, even a calling – you might find it helpful to (at least some of the time) treat it like a hobby. I know that […]

Five Straightforward Ways to Create Stronger Characters

If your story doesn’t have strong, compelling characters … no-one’s going to want to read it. That might sound harsh. But however intricate your plotting or however exotic your setting, if your characters are flat and uninteresting, there’s nothing for the reader to invest in. We read stories because we’re interested in people… and what […]

How to Find the Time and Energy to Write When You Have Young Children

The hardest thing I’ve done in my life is having kids. I love them to bits … but if you’re a parent, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say that nothing prepares you for the reality of children! Some people stop writing altogether while they’re busy raising small children. If that feels like […]

Six Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing Environment (and Get More Done)

Do you have lots of great writing intentions … only to find your day filling up with all sorts of other things? When you do sit down to write, are you easily distracted? Yes? Hey, me too! I’ve come to realise that this isn’t a weakness in myself: it’s more about the nature of writing. […]

Should You Ever Edit While You’re Writing?

A lot of writers will insist that you should never, ever edit when you’re writing. You can even use software that disables the backspace key, or that starts eating your words if you don’t type fast enough (Write or Die). Personally, I think a rather more balanced approach is fine! While too much editing when […]

How to Set Up an Email List – For Free

Whatever you write, and whether or not you have a blog or even a website, it’s a great idea to have an email list. You might have heard this called an “email newsletter” or “mailing list” – it’s basically the same thing. The idea is that you let interested readers enter their email address on […]

What to Do When Your Writing Goals Seem a Long Way Off

What do you want to achieve with your writing? You might have all sorts of goals. Here are just a few possibilities: You want to win a short story competition. You want to make an extra $500/month freelancing. You want to make a full-time living as a fantasy novelist. You want to sell 100,000 copies […]

Using Google’s “My Maps” to Keep Track of All the Locations in Your Novel

I’ve got a particularly bad writing habit – and I suspect I’m not the only person who does this… All too often, I leap straight into the next scene with very little thought about where exactly my characters are located. If I was writing something focused on a single place (neighbours in a small town, […]

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