Baby bump at 35.5 weeks.

It’s been a little under two years since my last blogging break … and, as many Aliventures readers know, my husband and I are expecting our second child, a little brother for Kitty, due 15th December 2014.

Once again, I’m taking a few months of maternity leave. I won’t be publishing any new posts or sending out any newsletters, and plan to be back around April/May 2015.

Get New Posts as Soon As I’m Back

I’ve got a lot I want to blog about in 2015, and so you don’t miss out, pop your email address in below to get those posts straight to your inbox:

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(You can also get updates by RSS.)

While I’m Away…

If you’re a blogger, check out my Blogger’s Guides. The discount code “babytime” will give you $10 off any individual guide, or off the four-pack of guides. (Enter it after adding the Guide(s) to your shopping cart.)

The four guides are:

The Blogger’s Guide to Freelancing – make real money from blogging, by finding freelance writing jobs (suitable for confident writers)

The Blogger’s Guide to Effective Writing – learn how to write great blog content (suitable for new and established writers, updated 2013)

The Blogger’s Guide to Irresistible Ebooks – write and publish an ebook on your blog (suitable for anyone who’s been blogging for a few months or longer)

The Blogger’s Guide to Loyal Readers – attract more readers to your blog, and keep them there (suitable for established bloggers and those yet to start a blog)



Image from Flickr by Vassilis Online

If you’re looking for some writing-related reading, try these popular posts on Aliventures:

7 Habits of Serious Writers

Eight Secrets Which Writers Won’t Tell You

The Four Essential Stages of Writing

What it Feels Like When Your Writing is Rejected – and How to Bounce Back

How I Make My Living as an Online Writer (And How You Could Too)

Seven Crucial First Steps for Your Writing Career


I hope you have a wonderful end to 2014 and start to 2015 … and I look forward to being back with lots of new ideas for Aliventures (plus some baby photos). :-)


Important heads-up:

I’m closing Writers’ Huddle for new members this Friday (31st October) and won’t be reopening the virtual doors until, at the earliest, May 2015.

So if you want to become part of a thriving writing community, with access to the full archive of seminars (33 and counting) and new content each month, check it out today.

And now, on with the post…


(Photo by Antonina, a fantastic London contemporary portrait photographer)

Updated October 2014.

It’s over six years since I left my day job.

Ever since then, I’ve been supporting myself through writing. It’s my dream career – and I love being able to set my own hours, work from home, and have a huge amount of flexibility and freedom.

I haven’t written much here on Aliventures about how exactly I actually make money. Maybe you suspect that there’s some amazing secret skill involved, or some sort of dark art.

But there really isn’t. Turning words into money might sound like spinning straw into gold … but it’s a darn sight easier.

And … if you want to … there’s no reason why you can’t do exactly the same as me.

In short, I have a bunch of different revenue streams that bring in cash every month. I’m going to explain the basics of each, and provide some links to places where you can get further information or try these methods out for yourself.

I’ll start with the ones that were easiest to get going with, and work up to the methods that take a bit more time…

[click to continue…]


get-inspired-cover-3dIf you get the Aliventures newsletter, you’ll have heard about this already …

… but if not, or if your inbox is currently full of as many unread messages as mine, then here’s the news:

Along with my good friend and fellow writer Tracy Wilson, I’ve written a new ebook, Get Inspired, Get Creative, Get Writing.

It’s a short, practical, and encouraging read that tackles some of the most common (yet sometimes crippling) problems that writers run into, like:

  • Finding inspiration, and staying motivated, on projects big and small.
  • Understanding what’s caused your writer’s block … and beating it.
  • Becoming more creative … even if you think you’re not a very creative person.
  • Building a regular writing routine, rather than letting weeks or months go by without writing.
  • Organising your writing life, so you don’t miss deadlines, lose important paperwork, or accidentally wipe out your novel-in-progress.

(Quick aside: if you’re battling against any – or all! – of those problems, please don’t feel alone. Tracy and I have struggled with all of these at various points during our writing careers, and seen plenty of clients and friends go through them too.)

Along with the ebook, we’ve included a pack of ten printer-friendly worksheets to help you put into practice what you read, and three bonuses to help you go further.

Get Inspired, Get Creative, Get Writing is just $5 until Friday 17th October. (That includes the ebook – in .pdf, .mobi, and .epub formats – the worksheets, and all the bonuses.)

Just click here to find out more.

(If you’ve got any questions, or aren’t sure if the ebook is quite right for you, just pop a comment below or drop me an email,

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Back in early 2011, I made the decision to self-publish my novel Lycopolis – and that was largely inspired by Joanna Penn, who was then bringing out her first novel Pentecost.

Fast forward three and a half years, and Joanna has now published five full length novels, two novellas, and a short story series – plus four non-fiction books. She blogs at The Creative Penn, and I know many Aliventures readers are regulars there too.

Her latest book, Business for Authors: How to Be an Author Entrepreneur came out a few weeks ago, in September 2014. If you’re an author or aspiring author, whether you want to self-publish or get a traditional deal, read on…


Business for Authors is (as you might have guessed) a guide to the business side of being an author. It’s not a book about how to self-publish, or a book about the craft of writing — though Jo recommends plenty of great resources that can help you with these.

It’s available from Amazon and other major e-retailers as an ebook and paperback, though you can also purchase the audio book and ebook combined directly from Joanna. (You get a discount for the audio if you buy the ebook elsewhere, too.)

[click to continue…]


Are Your Writing Dreams Unrealistic?

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 […]

9 comments [ click to read article...]

Super Summer Sale on the Blogger’s Guide Four-Pack (Time-Limited)

August 7, 2014

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 […]

0 comments [ click to read article...]

How Do Readers Choose YOUR Book From a Million Other Choices? The Story of a Book Purchase

July 25, 2014

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 […]

12 comments [ click to read article...]

Stuck in a Writing Rut? Get Back On Track With My (Free) Seven-Week Ecourse

July 10, 2014

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 […]

4 comments [ click to read article...]

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...]