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A very warm welcome to Aliventures!

Whether you’re an experienced writer or just getting started, you’ll find something here for you. Aliventures is about mastering the art, craft and business of writing: you need a good handle on all three if you’re going to see the success you want.

I cover both fiction and non-fiction writing: I love doing both and many Aliventures readers feel the same way.

Below, I’ve rounded up some of the best posts to gets started with: dig in, and enjoy.

For All Writers:

Are Your Writing Dreams Unrealistic? (art)

While some writers do have unrealistic and unreasonable expectations, most don’t. In this post, I contrast “realistic” and “unrealistic” dreams (and, hopefully, you’ll feel encouraged about your chances of achieving yours).

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

I’ve taken plenty of breaks from writing over the years, particularly around the births of my two children. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or anxious about a fallow stage in your own writing life, this post might help.

The Three Stages of Editing (and Nine Handy Do-it-Yourself Tips) (craft)

Whether you’re editing a blog post or a novel, simply starting at the first word and fixing every spelling mistake as you go along isn’t going to be an efficient way to work. Here, I explain the three stages of editing, offering tips to help you with each.

For Novelists:

Choosing the Right Viewpoint and Tense for Your Fiction (With Examples) (craft)

Should you write in first-person, third-person, or even second-person? And should you tell your story in the past or present tense? In this post, I run through your options, and give you examples of each in practice.

When and Why You’ll Want to Pay People to Help You Write (business)

If you want to get your novel published, or if you want to successfully self-publish it, you’re going to want to pay for some help at some stage. This post takes you through your options and helps you decide what might work best for you right now.

Stylised Talk: Writing Great Dialogue [With Examples] (craft)

Some writers love dialogue, others struggle with it. Whether it comes naturally to you or not, this post will give you tips for making your dialogue even better. I’ve included examples to make it easier to see dialogue in action.

For Freelancers:

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

Freelancing is just one way to make money from your writing. If you’re interested in adding in some extra income streams, this post runs you through the ones that I’ve used over the past seven years, with further reading links and indications of how much you can expect to make with each method.

Freelance Writing: Ten Steps, Tons of Resources (business)

This is (currently) the longest post on Aliventures, so I’d suggest bookmarking it. You can dip in and out for ideas and inspiration, or use it as a step-by-step guide to getting started as a freelance writer.

Why Every Writer Should be Guest Posting (business)

This is the first post in a three-part series about guest posting: writing for other people’s blogs to promote yourself or your books. Find out why guest posting is such a powerful technique, and how you can make it work for you.

Join the Aliventures Newsletter

As well as the blog, I send out a weekly email newsletter with a quick writing tip plus useful links to posts I’ve published that week, or great pieces I’ve read by other writers.

As soon as you join the Aliventures newsletter, you’ll get access to Time to Write, a mini-ebook for anyone looking to fit more writing into their life.

You’ll also get a bunch of extra mini-ebooks: you can find the full list here on the newsletter sign-up page.

Or, if you want to sign up straight away, just pop your email address in below:

Mastering the Art, Craft and Business of Writing

Whatever stage you’re currently at with your writing, you’re on a journey towards mastery: being the very best you can be.

For me, that journey’s never quite complete. There’s always something new to learn, or an area of my writing to develop.

I chose to make Aliventures about the art, craft and business of writing because I believe you need all three for success. Here’s how I’d define them:

Art: Why we do what we do. The heart you put into your writing … and the love-hate relationship you sometimes have with it.

Craft: The techniques of writing well. For fiction writers, this is everything from plotting a novel to writing gripping dialogue; for non-fiction writers, it means learning about structure and word choices.

Business: The non-writing stuff that supporters your writing. This could mean anything from being organised with your freelancing work to marketing your novel … and it’s essential to your success.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey. If there’s a particular topic you’d like me to cover or a question you’d like me to answer, just get in touch and I’ll be happy to blog about it.