Are Your Writing Dreams Unrealistic?

by Ali on August 15, 2014


(Image from Flickr by Lennixx.)

Sometimes, I get emails like this:

I enjoyed your blog post on making money from your writing. I’d love to make a living writing but I don’t know if that’s unrealistic.

I can tell you now … it’s not.

I make a living writing, and I know lots of other (pretty normal!) people who do too.

But sometimes, I get emails more like this:

I’ve written to dozens of writers, telling them all about my background and my writing ambitions. I want someone to mentor and help me get my book, How to Avoid Papercuts, published and sell a million copies.

(They usually go on a fair bit longer than that.)

The truth? It’s an unrealistic ambition. First-time books by unknown authors (especially on topics that interest the author and pretty much no-one else) just aren’t going to become bestsellers.

And, nice as it might be to imagine a top writer spotting how talented you are and helping you out … every writer I know is busy enough with their own projects and their own life.

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I’m celebrating six years (!) since I quit my day job and became a full-time writer/blogger.

So, until Tuesday 12th August, you can get all four of my Blogger’s Guides for just $33.

(They normally cost $29 each, or $66 for four.)

Sounds like just what you need? Head on over to the Blogger’s Guide website to get your hands on them.

If you’d like to know a bit more about the Blogger’s Guides first, though, just read on.

The Blogger’s Guides are a series of ebooks, each covering a key aspect of professional blogging – the type of blogging where you hope to make money (though you might well also be doing it for fun).

The four Guides are:

  • The Blogger’s Guide to Freelancing – this explains the exact process I used to launch my freelancing career (while working a full-time day job).
  • The Blogger’s Guide to Effective Writing – this is packed with tips and techniques to help you go further with your writing.
  • The Blogger’s Guide to Irresistible Ebooks – this covers what you need to do to create a free or paid-for ebook, with step by step advice.
  • The Blogger’s Guide to Loyal Readers – this goes through everything you need to do to (a) get your blog in shape for visitors and (b) draw them in.

Taken as a set, they teach you everything I’ve learned in over six years of writing for dozens of different blogs.

You can find out more about them – and snap up a bargain – here.

The sale only runs until the end of Tuesday 12th August, and I won’t be posting about it again on the blog – so make sure you check it out today.

If you’ve got any questions about the Guides, just pop a comment below, or email me on



It’s Friday 20th June, and I’m going to the Winchester Writers’ Conference. I’m due to head off for a train in less than an hour and I’ve not finished packing. I want something to read on my Kindle Fire.

I don’t have much time, so I don’t browse book blogs or ask on Twitter for recommendations. I head straight to Amazon.

Do a couple of my favourite authors have new books out? One does, but I’m waiting for the price to drop. The other’s book isn’t out yet.

I’ll try something new, and cheap. I head to the Kindle Daily Deals and see a bunch of different books.

I skip past the ones that look like romance or thrillers, and pause at Off to Be the Wizard ( / The title makes me think “children’s book” and the design, at teeny-tiny thumbnail size, isn’t hugely clear – it also looks childish.

But I pause long enough to realise that the cover shows old-school computer game style graphics (an impression backed up by the series title, “Magic 2.0″).

That might be my kind of thing.

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If you’ve been an Aliventures reader for a while, you might remember the On Track ecourse I launched back in 2011.

It was one of my favourite projects, and over the past couple of years, it’s only been available to members of Writers’ Huddle, because a couple of other projects (Kitty and the bump) have been keeping me busy.

I’ve been gradually updating On Track, though, and doing some techy things to turn it from an “everyone takes the course all at once” to a “start whenever you like” course … and it’s finally ready. Hurrah!

If you’re bogged down on a writing project, perhaps a novel, blog, non-fiction book, memoir, or even something small like a short story, On Track is designed to get you going again.

Back when I ran this as a group ecourse, with support along the way, it cost $49. Because I no longer have the time to be that involved, I’ve made it totally free (all you need to do is enter your first name and email address to get instant access). You’ve got no excuse not to take it! ;-)

You can get the full details, and join, here.

You’ll get the first week’s module as soon as you begin, then another module each week from then on (you’ll get an email alert to tell you that the module is available, and to give you a quick summary of what you’ll learn that week).

If you’ve got any questions about the course, just pop a comment below, or drop me an email on

Want to find out more or join up right away? Head straight on to the On Track page here.


Seven Crucial First Steps for Your Writing Career

July 2, 2014

Image from Flickr by nic519. Have you ever thought about – or daydreamed about – turning your writing into a career? Perhaps you’ve already made some progress (buying a website domain, submitting some pieces), or perhaps it still feels like more of a dream than a plan. The good news is that it’s probably not […]

9 comments [ click to read article...]

Another Baby On the Way (And What This Means for Aliventures)

June 5, 2014

Well, the title and photo probably gave the news away. My husband Paul and I are expecting our second baby in December, a little brother or sister to Kitty (who turned one in March). This is really exciting for us; right from the start, we wanted to have two children close together, and we’re thrilled that everything […]

15 comments [ click to read article...]

Why Writers Should Fear Obscurity, Not Piracy

May 22, 2014

Image from Flickr by pasukaru76. There’s one question that seems to crop up more than any other in my email inbox, and when I’m talking about self-publishing. And that’s: How do I stop people stealing my book? A lot of new indie authors are worried that publishing in digital format means it’ll be far too easy […]

10 comments [ click to read article...]

Memoir: Truth or Fiction? [Guest Post]

May 6, 2014

This is a guest post by Tracy Wilson. Tracy and I have been friends for several years (she’s one of Kitty’s godmothers, too) and I asked her to write a post for Aliventures about memoir … something that I don’t have any experience with, but that I know a number of Aliventures readers are interested […]

3 comments [ click to read article...]

17 Ways to Make the Most of Your Writing Time – Even When It’s Limited

April 7, 2014

Image from Flickr by waferboard. Do you have as much time as you want to write? Probably not. (If you’re in the position of having plenty of time but somehow not getting much writing done, don’t feel bad — that happens too. Hopefully some of these tips will help you as well.) Very, very few […]

23 comments [ click to read article...]

Can You Call Yourself a “Writer” if You’re Not Currently Writing?

March 18, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I sent out a newsletter titled – like this post – “Can you call yourself a writer if you’re not currently writing?” It got a great response … and I realised I’d hit on a subject that quite a few writers are concerned about. So if you missed it: 1. […]

19 comments [ click to read article...]