What Will You Write in 2012?


Happy New Year!

I’ve got several exciting writing goals for 2012 – and I’ll be sharing some of these with you over the next few weeks. Today, though, I wanted to give you the chance to tell me about your writing plans and hopes for the year ahead.

Just type in the comments box below and let me know:

What you’re planning to write (you can be as general or detailed as you want).

(Optional) Any problems you’re having or questions you’d like me to answer.

I’d love to hear what you’re up to, and I’d love to help if I can. 🙂

Thanks for commenting! I read all comments, and reply to as many as I can. Please keep the discussion constructive and friendly. Thank you!

105 thoughts on “What Will You Write in 2012?

  1. Hey Ali,

    With regards to my blog, I am hoping that I can write to help people. My goal is as simple as that! Obviously the execution gets a little more complicated, but I will always try to write with that in mind. I hope that by the end of the year, I have plenty more people telling me how helpful my writing has been for them.

    In terms of freelancing, I will be writing to make money! That will most likely be in the web development niche (WordPress, social media, SEO), but I am interested in diversifying beyond that if the opportunity presents itself. My main priority is to find work – so if you can help me with that at all, I would be very grateful! 🙂


    Tom Ewer’s last blog post ..My Monthly Income & Expenditure Report – December 2011

    • Hey Tom,

      Awesome stuff! I love that your blogging goal is to help people — and I’m sure you’ll get lots of comments and emails from delighted readers in 2012. 🙂

      With the freelancing, I’d suggest you specialise — perhaps in terms of who you serve rather than what you offer, as you might want to provide all-in-one packages for web development. Do you have a sense of who your ideal customer might be? (A good starting point might be to figure out whether you’re aiming at big or small companies, or individual hobbyists/entrepreneurs.)

  2. Hi Ali! Hope you’ve been having a wonderful holiday season 🙂

    Oh, the things I shall write in 2012!
    Two non-fiction book proposals (one for an updated version of Gothic Wedding Planner, another TBA), the completed draft of my new steampunk horror novel (only 10-20k to go!), aiming for 5-10 posts a week on steffmetal.com, 1 a week on grymmandepic.com, 1 writing query a day, and maybe another children’s book script (currently shopping 1). And I have a short story that I’d love to make into a MG-YA book, if I had the time! So, you know, not too much going on.
    Steff Metal’s last blog post ..Christmas Greetings from Steff

    • Woo! Lovely to hear from you, Steff — I was just thinking about you earlier. (Not in a creepy way … I was daydreaming about visiting Australia to meet up with a couple of blogging friends, and then I thought “I could hop over to NZ and see Steff too …)

      Best of luck with all the writing, and I hope that steampunk horror novel gets finished. 🙂 Hope that the queries pay off brilliantly too! And I’m looking forward to lots of awesome posts on Steff Metal and Grymm & Epic. 😀

      • DO IT! Please let me know if that happens. It’s going to be awhile before I’m back in your neck of the woods, so I’d love to meet you over here. (I might be able to hop over to Aus if need be).

        I hope everything gets done, too. And I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got planned …

  3. Call me overly ambitious, but I plan to write 366 online articles this year (3 done so far, will post one more after I get this done.) I plan to have my second novel: SOLDERS DON’T CRY out by June 30th. I also plan to put out a blog entry every week. Add that to the fact that I’m going to school time, and I certainly have a full plate.

    • Wow, Cygnet, that’s a fantastic goal — good luck with all the articles! Hope they go brilliantly. Are you doing one per day, or getting ahead for weekends/holidays?

      Best of luck with the second novel, too. 🙂

      • Hi Ali,
        Thanks for the encouragement! I’m planning to do one per day, but I am trying to get ahead a little bit so that if I have a day when I am not able to write, I’ll have something to publish. This week has certainly been a challenge for me already.

  4. Hey Ali, happy 2012! I’m starting up a health and fitness business, which takes up most of my time, but I also love writing. This year, my main writing goals are to finish my book draft (cookbook and active living guide for vegans and vegetarians) and to blog at least once a week. Less specifically I’d also like to write more articles, but that’s time permitting (e.g. http://ezinearticles.com/?NICE:-4-Principles-of-Getting-and-Staying-Fit&id=6713462).
    Karina Inkster’s last blog post ..January Fitness Goals

    • Happy 2012, Karina! And congrats on your start-up — hope you have exciting and fun times! It sounds like the writing will feed into your business, with the book and the blog.

      I love the NICE formula for exercise — clever, and memorable! And congrats on your expert author status on EzineArticles. 🙂

  5. Hello, Ali,
    I’ve ben following your blog for a while. This is the first time I’ve posted, so good to meet you.
    My writing (and main) goal for this year is to have a completed,little editing left to go, version of my memoir in the bag by the end of the year. I am writing about humor, death, and the lesions I’ve learned from my hospice patients over 28 years of nursing.
    Thanks for your blog,

    • Great to meet you too, Pegtroll. 🙂 And thanks for reading. If there’s any particular topic you’d like me to cover here on Aliventures, just ask!

      Best of luck with your memoir — hope the editing goes smoothly.

  6. Good luck to you and all the commenters on your 2012 writing goals! My main goal is to concentrate on revising short stories for the book for my MFA thesis–one per month. The secondary goal is to update my blog twice a week and keep up with my guest post commitments. Although I’d love to break into magazine writing, I’m struggling to find the time to add that into my schedule. Any tips on balancing time are always welcome, Ali.

    • Thanks, Jessica! Good luck with the short story revision (I find short stories really tough — the only thing harder for me is poetry — so you have my admiration!) Hope the thesis comes together well. 🙂

      Have you got my free ebook “How to Find Time for Your Writing”? If you pop on over to the newsletter page at http://www.aliventures.com/newsletter you can sign up free ebooks, plus quick weekly writing tips by email. 🙂

      If you’re in a hurry, though, my favourite tips are:
      – Find the right time and place for your writing (for me, mornings are always better than afternoons, and libraries are great for concentrated work)
      – Cut out interruptions/distractions when you’re writing

      With the blogging, I’d suggest batching tasks together if you can — e.g. come up with 10 post ideas in one session, then outline those posts in the next session. This is something I’ve been experimenting with more recently, and it really helps when you’re short of time and trying to stick to a tight schedule!

      Hopefully, that’ll free up a bit of time for magazine writing. (And if you’re struggling, how about letters to the editor, or short tips/anecdotes/humour pieces? They might not pay much, but it’s still something. :-))

  7. Hi Ali, a new follower of your blog over here.
    I decided to join in for a second WriYe. Set my goal on writing 500k words during 2012 (on novels, but blogs, colomns and some journalistic writing as well). Other than that I’m really desperate to finish at least 3 first drafts this year, I’ve got so many work lying around that is halfway finished.

    Though I’m not sure which ones I’m going to finish this year. There are so many lying around. I’m currently working on a young adult fiction I started on last month.

    • A big welcome to the blog, Aniek! 😀

      Wow, those are some ambitious targets! I think that getting projects finished (or at least past a good milestone like a first draft) is a great idea — so nice to clear the decks a bit.

      I’d suggest working on the novels (or other projects) that:
      a) are closest to completion and
      b) still engage your interest

      Don’t be afraid to abandon projects if they no longer seem interesting to you. I’ve let go of three novels and three blogs over the past decade: I value what I learned from them, but they were dragging me down!

  8. I have also been following for a while and this is my first comment which is part of my writing goal. To stop passively observing and to have the courage to participate. This year I will also get my website up and running and blog once per week.

    • Hi Priska,

      Just had to jump in and encourage you to do that big time. I’ve started 3 blogs in the past few months. They are limping along but growing. I got my encouragement from Ali to start my writing blog.

      It’s is so easy to go to WordPress and start up a freebie, takes minutes even for someone who knows nothing about it (that was me a few months back). It does take some exploring to learn the ropes even on the free version,

      Newbie bloggers make mistakes all the time, but no one is really keeping score, so we all recover, usually quickly, as long as we keep going.

      If your concerned about negative comments, just turn off comments for a while. *I haven’t had any yet.
      I’m enjoying it immensely. Every visitor and comment is a thrill–hope that will always be the case.

      Best wishes

      • Priska, thanks so much for commenting! I remember feeling very awkward and unsure when I left my first few comments on blogs — so it means a lot to me that you found the courage to jump in here on Aliventures. 🙂 Trust me, it gets easier with time…

        Bill (above) has some great advice (and a great writing blog, I might add! You can click on his name alongside his comment to check it out.) I hope you do get your website/blog going — as Bill says, WordPress.com is very easy to get started with. 🙂

  9. Hi Ali,
    My writing goal for this year is to get my first book publised! It is a non fiction christian based book. I have my manuscript organized, needs to be edited. Do you have any advice on getting published without going the xtraditional route? Thinking about self publishing, there are so many companys, how do I know who is best? Im looking at two, one is a christian based co. they have lower priced packages, but author book price is more than the other company,,can you help give me some direction? Thanks so much! By the way, i look forward to your newsletter every week!
    Thanks so much, Michelle.

    • Thanks Michelle!

      I’m faced with a similar choice for print publication of my novel Lycopolis — I can either use Lightening Source (which has a fairly high set-up fee but then a lower price per copy) or Lulu (no set-up fee but higher price per copy). I’ve not looked at packages, though — I hired an editor and had a designer friend help out with the cover.

      My feeling is that if you’re not sure how many copies you can sell, it might be better to go with the lower-priced package — you could presumably change to a different printing company in the future if you wanted? (You’d need to check what terms the self-publishing company is offering — they should be letting you keep the copyright to your book.) If I were you, I’d search online for the name of both companies plus “review” or “my experience with” and similar terms — try to find out what their authors feel about the service provided.

      You might also want to try bringing the book out as an ebook initially: you’d miss out on some of the potential market, but it might be a good way to test the waters. (And at my church, at least, Kindles are becoming quite popular…!)

      So glad you’re enjoying the newsletter — just let me know if there’s ever a particular topic or question you’d like me to address in it. 🙂


  10. Hi Ali,

    I already blog on a pretty frequent basis. My plan for this year is to write one essay a month minimum. I want to share some of my thoughts about my American life as a woman of color. I thought that this would be one of the ways to accomplish this goal.

    • Sounds like a great goal! I suggest linking the essay posts to one another (you may well have already thought of that) so that if someone enjoys one, they can read more. You might even want to compile an ebook/book of your essays at the end of 2012.

      Good luck!

  11. Happy New Year Ali,

    I spent the last week rethinking what I want to blog about and plan to re-launch soon with a goal of posting 2/wk. I also want to resume working on my fiction with a certain writing coach once I’m back in the US in three weeks. Cheers!

    • Happy New Year, Yoneco 🙂 Great to hear from you … and I can assure you that the writing coach will be thrilled to get to read some more of your fiction soon!

      (Just drop me a line whenever you want to get a session pencilled in. :-))

  12. Hey Ali,

    My focus is going to be first on my blog. I love sharing what I know and do with writing techniques. And I want to build a platform for giving/selling my books, including my up-and-coming novel. And my freebie book on writing is getting priority right now. I plan on having it done and ready to put up with a month or two at the most. Then comes the more indepth treatment, which will follow and be for sale n my blog..

    In the fiction realm, I find I need to review my technique at least once every two years, including rereading the most helpful how-to books, like those by Donald Maass, James Scott Bell, and Larry Brooks. So the actual re-writing of the novel (about the 5th time, I think) in on hold till I finish my techniques review. If I re-write now, I’ll have to change too much–not time-efficient.

    Once those ebooks are done and out there in pdf’s (maybe also via Lulu or Kindle or Scrapbook or…?), I’ll be ready to write on the novel again daily.

    And always reading: I have a stack of 10 books on good writing (generally–syntax, rhetoric, nonfiction) on my desk. I want to read them all right now, but I switch back and forth to satisfy that longing! Also, I’m rereading Maass’s “The Fire In Fiction.” And, of course, fiction too.

    Happy and productive new year to you too and to your loyal followers.
    Bill Polm’s last blog post ..Are Your Writing Plans for 2012 Challenging Enough?

    • I’ve been very much enjoying reading your blog, Bill, so I’m thrilled to hear you’ll be focusing on it in 2012. 🙂 And it’s great to hear that the writing books are going to be taking shape too.

      I like your emphasis on learning — and on reviewing and re-reading. This is something I want to make more time for. I got a great little book on writing style for Christmas (yes, my wish list was that boring ;-)) and I’m looking forward to digging into that. I’ll probably review it on Aliventures in due course, too.

      Hope your 2012 is filled with good things!

  13. 2012 is my year.My year to write

    my goal

    •Write an article on my blog every week
    •Write a short story every week and upload to my wattpad account

  14. In autumn of 2010 I began the first draft of a novel, the idea for which has percolated in my head for ten years. About a third of the way through, my husband decided he didn’t like where we were living and that we should move–for the 3rd time in five years. It fell to me to prepare the house for sale, box up our belongings, etc. Needless to say, no further work has been done on my novel.

    Therefore, since my husband has promised me that we will not move the entire house this year, I plan to rewrite what I’ve done and then finish the first draft. If I do nothing else, I will be pleased.

    • That sounds like a fantastic goal, Lauralew (and I hope your husband will keep you well-supplied with tea/coffee/your beverage of choice while you’re writing!)

      My husband (then-fiancé) and I moved from a flat in London to a house in Oxford about 18 months ago, while I was working on my final MA dissertation and organising our wedding, and we found the whole thing so stressful that we swore we’d never move again!

  15. Hi, Ali,

    Another newbie poster committing to goals, right here, right now.

    I’d like to finish my Fantasy novel, “Inner Demons”. I started and finished the first draft nearly 10 years ago and have been too busy to edit (which is my least favorite part). But the second novel keeps rattling around my brain, won’t leg me sleep, and rudely interrupts my other thoughts. Then I’m going to self-pub. I’d like to design (have designed) a website for the URL I own called “realmsofthedragon” and then learn to blog.

    Thanks for your newsletter. When it comes in it carves a writer’s perspective from the mom/business owner persona that tends to dominate my days, and I savor the feeling.

    Happy New Years and may your days be prolific.

    Bonnie Censullo

    • Congrats on making the goal-commitment public, Bonnie! And I love your fantasy novel’s title. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with editing — I don’t find it so engrossing as the first draft, but I do love seeing my work take shape properly (getting closer and closer to how it was in my head … though never quite achieving the perfection I’d imagined!)

      Best of luck with your website and the blog. If you’re looking around for a designer, I can recommend Charlie from Charfish Design — he did the design for Aliventures here, and he’s done ebook covers for my Blogger’s Guides. Lovely guy, very easy to work with.

      I’m so glad that the newsletter is providing a little writing oasis in your day — that was something I really hoped for, so it’s fantastic to hear that. 🙂

      Hope you have a wonderful 2012,


    • Great stuff, Rebecca — and I love the way you’re compiling a list of competitions and short story markets on the blog. I see from your “About Me” that you’re in England. 🙂 Have you come across Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum? Both have monthly short story competitions, with a small entry fee.

  16. Writing plans? I always have so many…thanks for asking. My issue is focus, and procrasination, and my motto for this year will be less input, more output!

    I started a new blog on Copywriting, it’s focus is going to be direct-response copywriting and marketing. I want to build the readership there, and snag a few freelance copywriting gigs through it.

    I still have my motivation blog http://www.turningpointmotivation.com , but ironically I haven’t been motivated to blog much there lately, but I am writing a free download that will be an excerpt for my first e-book that I’m going to offer for sale on the blog called ‘Instant Confidence’.

    I just finished my wife’s blog http://www.confidentbeautyblog.com, she’s a makeup artist, and I’m going to help her develop her blog and info-products

    I also have 3 other blogger blogs I’m developing. One is a cartoon blog, and one is a job-hunting blog, and the other is a blog geared for Tourists coming to Toronto.

    Also, I haven’t guest posted anywhere yet, but want to…and I want to get a good start on a crime-fiction novel.

    Become a better writer etc…

    How can you help? You already are! you’re one of my favorite bloggers, Thanks!
    Zac’s last blog post ..A Million Dollar Lesson In The Profitability Of Self-Publishing From Louis C.K

    • Wow, Zac, that’s a lot of writing! Very best of luck with all the blogs you’re working on, and with the crime novel. (Crime seems to be dominating the Kindle Top 100 right now — lots of self-published authors doing very well there.)

      I’m thrilled to hear that my posts are helping — thank you. 🙂 If there are any specific topics you’d like me to tackle, just ask.

  17. Oh deary me, my writing resolutions…

    First of all–get more organized. Second of all, get out a chapter a month on my fanfiction. i also want to get a draft of my novel up…and get the chapter outlines of the rest of my triology…

    i desperately need tips on
    a) how to get ideas from the shows…and how to insert your own characters without them becoming a mary sue
    b) how exactly to do a chapter outline….without starting to write scenes, cuz at the moment i don’t have the organization to put down what scenes go where (i write stuff down on scraps of paper or in my notebooks…yes, i have various idea notebooks…)
    c) what exactly would constitute as a chapter in a novel? i’ve seen ones that’re one page long, yet also ones that take up about…i dunno even how many pages, but i know it’s at least 30…

    wow, my typing just went from the beginning with proper capitalization and stuff to regular web speak…oh, my wacky teenager ways….

    ahem, anyway, any tips would be awesome. ^^ THANKS FOR THIS BLOG!!! (still working through lycopolis, btw, i just don’t go on the computer that often for leisure…must remember to read more…)

    • I think organisation is the bane of many writers! Good luck with the fanfiction and the novel; sounds like you’ve got some great goals.

      Some quick thoughts:

      a) Think about untold stories/missing scenes/etc from the shows — perhaps characters who don’t get much screen time. Or how about Alternative Universe stuff? I don’t know what fandoms you write in, but some of the ones I’ve come across have very established AUs…

      In terms of inserting your own characters: don’t let them overshadow the established canon characters. Give them flaws and vulnerabilities.

      b) You don’t necessarily have to outline chapter-by-chapter for fiction — I certainly don’t! I usually know the first 4 -5 chapters, bits of the middle, and roughly how I want the novel to end. I find that keeping a spreadsheet helps, because I can easily go back and insert/change chapters.

      c) Chapter length is really up to you. Avoid having a huge variation (e.g. a 30-page chapter followed by a 1-page chapter, unless it’s for comic effect, I guess). In Lycopolis, I think my shortest chapter was about 1,500 words and the longest was around 4,000, and each chapter had a different viewpoint from the one before. You might want to look at other books in your genre and see roughly how long the chapters are.

      Hope that helps a bit!

      • YES THIS HELPED!!! ooh, advice… 😀

        thanks so much, well, gotta start getting myself organized for the new year! first friday of the month…and my immature classmates are still singing the song. >.<

  18. Happy New Year Ali and thanks for throwing it out to your readers!

    For me, this year it’s going to be all about content marketing. For my freelance copywriting clients, on my blog, in my guest posts – this is my new focus!

    There is no doubt in my mind that content marketing is a very promising wave that all businesses, copywriters and bloggers need to ride. And I’m going to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and integrate more video into my content development.

    Ruth – The Freelance Writing Blog’s last blog post ..The #1 Writing-Related New Year’s Resolution that Can Explode Your Business

    • I think content marketing is absolutely worthwhile — I do a lot of guest posting, and it always brings in lovely new faces to the Aliventures blog and newsletter. 🙂

      I too want to do more (okay, ANY!) video — I’m nervous of the whole idea, but I know it’ll add a new dimension to Aliventures. Best of luck with yours!

  19. Hi Ali – and a very Happy New Year to you too!

    My writing goals include contributing to two blogs (one post each per week), publishing a monthly newsletter article and generally creating informative content to help less experienced small business owners.

    I totally agree with Ruth on the importance of content marketing and will also be aiming for more video content this year and also feel very uncomfortable at the prospect.

    Thanks for the opportunity to join in the comments Ali – another of my goals!
    Louise Barnes-Johnston’s last blog post ..How To Start Something New

    • Thanks, Louise. 🙂 And I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds video a daunting prospect! I think it’s especially tough for us writers — we’re so used to being able to craft our words carefully and edit at our leisure.

      Hope your blogging and newsletter go brilliantly during the year!

  20. As a relatively new follower, I was introduced by you to nanowrimo this year and managed 50 000+ words which was a great thrill. Now comes the editing and I guess another 20000+ words to bring to completion. Plus have been asked to edit a mag, and have started a writing group with a BIG goal. This 70 something year old is feeling pressured, and loving it! Thank you Ali, please help me not procrastinate!!

    • Woo, congratulations, Elaine! That’s brilliant on the NaNo… hope the completion goes smoothly. 🙂

      With a magazine to edit and a writing group to run, I’d imagine you’ll not have any time to procrastinate 😉 I’d urge you to keep the NaNo spirit going for those last 20,000 or so words: could you get the whole draft finished by the end of the month?

  21. My Writing Goals 2012 ~ Finish the first draft of my novel by September, when I’ll be going home for vacation, so I can share it with my sister and a couple of trusted friends.
    I also want to learn how to set up and publish a blog. Not sure what subject it would be about, probably cooking, which I’m very passionate about. I’m hoping to learn from you how to do that!
    Thanks and Happy New Year to you too!

    • Good luck with the novel, Becky — and hope you get great feedback from your sister and friends in due course.

      (My sister read enough of my novel Lycopolis to laugh at one of my character’s names and to complain that I dedicated the book to my parents, not to her … I’m sure you have better luck! ;-))

      I’m so pleased to hear you want to learn about blogging, because I know a lot of other Aliventures readers are interested in setting up a blog, and I’m definitely going to be producing some content about that during the next few months. 🙂

  22. Ali

    Writing goals for this year.

    Well, the big one is to generate enough money to live on as a freelance writer (yes, I have your ebook). But that one is too big to grasp on a daily or weekly basis. Besides, there is a huge learning curve ahead of me over the course of this year. So, in addition, I have several smaller habits/intentions/practices that I am working on for this month.

    1. Daily “pages”. A daily 25 minute write – that is on anything that comes out of my fingers/brain. No rules, no syntax, no spelling. Can’t do it wrong.

    2. Two posts a week for my practice blog. This is much harder for me than it sounds. It turns out that blogging is way out of my comfort zone, in the land of distorted time and dismal spots that freeze the fingers when you press “publish”.

    3. Do audience and market research on places that will pay me for my work.

    4. Write one magazine article a week. (This is the rate I’d like to write by the end of January; the first two may take much longer than a week.)

    5. Send 3 query letters a week. (ditto)

    6. There are a host of other things to do to reach the big goal of earning a living, but I will have to id those challenges along the way. Right now I am focusing on January.

    Ta-ta. My big vision, and some daily things to do that will get me into February. That’s all I can do for the moment.
    Meredith’s last blog post ..What is My Best First Step?

    • Fantastic stuff, Meredith — and it’s great to see your goals broken down into clear steps (which is often where people struggle…)

      The blogging really will get easier over time. I still have days when I hesitate to hit “publish” — but it’s not nearly so scary as when I started out.

      Hope the magazine articles go brilliantly. Have you come across HARO (Help a Reporter Out)? It’s a great place to find sources.

    • Thanks, Lisa — hope your photography goes brilliantly! And I’ll definitely be blogging about my goals soon… 🙂

  23. Hi Ali! Happy New Year! I have been remiss in reaching out to you but when I saw this in my Feeds folder I had to come over and say Hi.

    I have changed my publishing model so as to be able to really focus in on my readers and their needs, so I now have some Premium Content available to subscribers. My blog will continue to be a resource for potential clients and a new source of podcasts – loving the podcasting thing! – and videos meant to help you think more deeply about things, get inspired, and prepare for the future.

    Later the Premium content will get bundled for Kindle format, as well as some other stuff I have on the back burner. Finally, I am going to work on finishing the draft of the novel I started for NaNoWriMo…
    Stephen P Smith’s last blog post ..ICMM Podcast Featuring Todd Jordan

    • Happy New Year, Stephen! And thanks for reaching out. 🙂

      I’ve not experimented with podcasting or audio yet, but that’s definitely on the list for 2012, as is video. I’m a bit daunted, but I know it’ll add a new dimension to Aliventures.

      I hope your Kindle-bundling goes brilliantly: I think the Kindle store is a great way to reach a wide audience of people who might not normally read blogs. And good luck with finishing that NaNo novel too. 🙂

  24. Hello Ali,

    Over a year ago I started a blog entitled “Sustainably Verdant™”, and I am writing a book entitled “Marketing Your Green Side” which, of course, details how to both “green” your business and then market to your clients. In addition I am the Director of Business Development for a civil engineering firm so my time is greatly divided. I had my wife and a good friend read the first draft of my book and based on their comments I am now on the second draft…a nearly complete rewrite. I am thinking that I might need a more professional review of my second draft; what do you think?

    Craig A. Ruark’s last blog post ..Has the world become unsustainable?

    • Good luck with the second draft, Craig! If this is the first book you’ve tackled, I’d definitely suggest getting a professional eye on it — or at least a trusted friend who’s good with words.

      If you’d like me to take a look, I’d be very happy to give you a quote for reviewing/editing. (I do general reviewing of book drafts, plus line editing of almost-there drafts.) You can shoot me a line — feel free to ask any questions — ali@aliventures.com 🙂

  25. I’m glad you asked, Ali.
    My major projects include a Sci/Fi Thriller based on a mad scientist bent of wiping out the human race. Also on my major project list is an historical fiction novel which starts in late 1835 the same time as the start of the Texas Revolution and the removal of Indian Nations from the eastern states by the US Government.

    In addition to that, I’m writing a coming of age short story set in 1958, rural north Texas. This is right after the Cellar Coffee House opened in Fort Worth, Texas and Elvis made routine passes through small towns each Friday on his way between Fort Hood and Fort Worth.

    I expect to write other short stories and poems as the muse strikes me.

    Thank you for asking,
    Rich Weatherly’s last blog post ..Review of the Novel – Pentecost, a Thriller

    • Oooh, the thriller sounds intriguing, Rich. Hope it goes brilliantly. 🙂 And good luck with the historical novel and the coming of age short story too — sounds like you’ve got lots of fun ahead!

  26. My goals this year are to bump up my blog posts to 2/week and to put out a new ebook/program every 2 months. I started my blog just under a year ago and it’s been a great learning experience as I’ve posted about once a week. After working solo, my big goal is to get out there and network with other bloggers and experts in my niche (doing whatever it takes to live a happier life) and creating great guest posts and joint venture projects.

    Wow! I felt a little shaky writing that and putting my goals out there for everyone to see. When I look back at the past year and see what I accomplished (I didn’t know the first thing about web sites or blogs when I started), I know I can do this!

    Thanks for everything Ali!!!
    Paige | simple mindfulness’s last blog post ..Mindful Mind: You Are Not Your Mind

    • Paige, thanks for being brave enough to share your goals! It sounds like you’ve got some really clear ideas on where you’re going — very best of luck. 🙂

      In terms of networking, I’ve found that Twitter’s great for getting to know other bloggers — I’m @aliventures on there (I don’t get new follower notifications — too many emails! — so do send me an @ reply if you want to get in touch on there). I’ve also had a blast hanging out with like-minded folks at blogging conferences, and am planning to be at BlogWorld New York in June.

      It looks like your blogging fits within the broad personal development niche: if you want any suggestions of where to guest post, drop me an email any time (ali@aliventures.com) — I started out writing on personal development topics, and I’ve still got a few contacts. 🙂

  27. I would like to continue publishing a “Scene from a Memoir” on my blog twice a month and expand my freelance writing. I have just been writing memoir for a little while, and I am concerned I will use up all of my good stories and run out of topics.
    Marcy’s last blog post ..More random blog comments

    • Hope it goes brilliantly, Marcy! I find that the more I write, the more ideas I have — though I’ve never tackled memoir. If you run out of personal stories, perhaps you could write about broader themes that come out of your own life?

  28. Hi Ali, thanks for your blog, and for the opportunity to reflect on writing goals for this year. Valuing my creativity is a new thing for me, and something I’m very excited and inspired about this year. I’m an unschooling mum and it’s teaching me to explore my passions along side my kids. So this year my son and I are going to take part in script frenzy and nanowrimo, I’d like to finish and edit my nano novel from last year, and I’d like to diversify my blogging, moving from a family journal to share with friends and family type blog towards blogs that may be useful to a wider audience. I guess my goal would be to set aside at least half an hour for writing a day. As for question, whoah, I have a lot! How do you win the battle of silencing the self critical voice that paralyzes you if you listen to it. How do you find your self worth and value what you have to give? How do you keep going when you feel stuck? With blogging, how do you pick one thing you are passionate about, when there are so many exciting possibilities?
    Love and best wishes, thanks again!

    • Hi Julie,

      Thanks for commenting. 🙂 I’m so pleased to hear from an unschooler — my husband and I have talked a lot about homeschooling (leaning towards unschooling) once we have kids. That’s a few years off yet, mind! Hope your NaNoing and Script Frenzying go brilliantly.

      Fantastic questions; your first three seem to fit together — I hope you won’t mind if I save them to tackle in a full blog post, as I’m sure there’ll be lots of other Aliventures readers who are interested in the answers.

      And with your final question about blogging — that’s a tough one. I had two other blogs before I started Aliventures (and when I started Aliventures, it wasn’t about writing at all, it was more on the lines of personal development). I’d suggest picking a topic that you could happily talk about all day, if only your family/friends would let you … for me, that’s writing/blogging. 🙂

      You might want to try journalling about some of your current blogging possibilities, digging deep into what really grabs you. And don’t be afraid to jump into blogging even if you’re not quite sure you’re certain about your one thing — bloggers can and do shift direction.

      Best of luck with wherever the blogging takes you! And look out for a blog posts within the next couple of weeks that tackles your other questions… 🙂

  29. Hello Ali,
    and all the best wishes for the New Year!
    Thank you for your question, it is so helpful to reflect on the scope of the writing projects for the year!

    This year I am going to move my blog about writing techniques for self-help and as adjunct to therapy from the LiveJournal platform to standalone, and keep writing 3-4 posts per week, as I do now (having an editorial calendar helps a lot!). This blog is in Russian. This is the nearest goal – I am working on the design and structure of the standalone blog right now. Some extra content needs to be written to make the new blog consistent, clearly structured and highly useful, including a free e-book about the first steps in therapeutic journaling. Thank you for your ebook about writing e-books, I am going to re-read it soon 🙂
    At the end of January I am going to launch an online course dedicated to memoir-writing (within the framework of self-understanding and self-help); the course consists of 4 three-week blocks, and there will be an e-book for each block. I will use for them parts of the draft of a book that I worked on last year.

    The next goal is to launch an English version of the blog about practices of the written word for self-help and in therapy; it would be a bit different due to the different target audience. Here I will concentrate on writing book reviews and presenting interviews with people who use the practices of the written word for self-help and therapy. I have a list of 25 books to review this year, and the best thing is that I have already read them all, so the task is easier.

    And there are at least 5 articles to be written to professional and popular magazines.

    Lots of work to do! And it is mostly done in 5-15 minutes increments, because I am a stay-at-home mum of a 5-month old boy 🙂 So I better get on with it now!

    Best regards,

    • HI Daria,

      Wow, what fantastic goals! Hope the blog move goes smoothly for you and doesn’t cause any technical headaches.

      It sounds like you’ve got your writing goals extremely well planned out. I’m really glad to hear you’re finding my ebook useful, too. 🙂

      I don’t have kids yet, so I can only imagine how tough it must be to write with a baby at home — you have my admiration!

  30. Hi Ali, great blog and great e-books. I’m currently working on a couple of e-book projects and your irresistible e-book series really helped me get the first draft done. Your clear and concise instructions and full featured MS-Word template were just what I needed. I also spent a few days converting my first print book into Kindle and e-pub formats. What a challenge that was! After about 25 attempts, I finally had to nuke it in notepad. This removed all formatting, and I had to format it from scratch. Thankfully that worked.
    My blog is going well this time of year with all the resolutions, and I’m working on a second mystery novel. Lots of fun… just not enough time.

    Thanks for all you do,

    John Richardson’s last blog post ..The Failure Checklist

    • Thanks, John, so glad that Irresistible Ebooks helped you. (For anyone who wants to get their hands on a copy, you can buy it from my Blogger’s Guides site.)

      Having done Kindle and e-pub formatting myself, I can totally sympathise with your struggles there — in fact, I’m going to be writing about how to format a Word document into a Kindle/e-pub book at some point over the next few months, as this is something a few people have been asking me about.

      Hope your 2012 goes brilliantly, and hope you can make enough time for your writing. 🙂

  31. Hi Ali,

    Happy New Year! Since I’m a (relatively) new writer, I’d love to get my blog off the ground :p In 2011 I ‘collected’ a lot of resources (ebooks, courses, articles, etc.) and spent time learning and began to apply what I learned, albeit slowly. This year I want to up my game and see some results:)

    Thanks for opening the floor, and hope all is well with you!
    Ritu’s last blog post ..The Path To Success Looks Like Wha..?

    • Happy New Year, Ritu! Great to hear from you — hope your 2012 is off to a good start.

      Best of luck with your next blogging steps, and do get in touch if there’s anything I can help with. 🙂

  32. Hi, Ali.

    I was previously a freelance editor/proofreader, but this year I’m going to transition to being a freelance writer. I’m working on setting up a blog as my home base for that.

    What I am struggling with is the focus of the blog.

    I notice most freelancers writers tend to write for writers (i.e. their peers), as opposed to potential clients, who may not be writers. I can see the attraction in that, but I wonder whether that approach brings in any business?

    I’d like to gear my blog towards potential clients, but because I’m just starting out, I don’t yet have a clear idea of who my potential clients are, and, therefore, what will be of value to them. Also, I haven’t found many freelance-writing blogs that take this approach, so it’s hard to get ideas!

    Any advice?


    • Hey Chris,

      Good luck with your transition — sounds like you’ve got absolutely the skills needed. My suggestion would be to start a blog on a fairly broad topic that you’d like to write about as a freelancer (e.g. health and fitness, personal development, technology). I suspect that your clients will be unlikely to read your blog regularly, but the blog will help show that you’re credible — this is why the writing for writers approach does work for many freelancers.

      On the flip side, you may find that you don’t actually need a blog at all (or that your blog can simply be updates about new pieces that you’ve written or projects that you’ve taken on). For a while, I was “between blogs” — I did a lot of guest posting, but I just pointed traffic back to a static site that advertised my services as a writer.

      Best of luck, whatever route you take with the blogging!


      • Thanks, Ali. Your comments are helpful, and take the pressure off a bit. I think I may have been over-thinking things.

        I’d already intended for the blog to be writing focused (I’ve named it Distilling Words); it was just whether I tailored it to clients in some way, or focused purely on the craft of writing (which would appeal more to writers). I’m leaning more towards the latter now, but I’ll ponder my exact approach some more.


  33. Hey Ali! Happy new year! Hope you’ll have an amazing 2012 🙂

    Anyway, I’m planning to write my (kind of) first book. I wrote a book when I was in high school (it was… terrible, but I laughed reading it, so I think it was okay after all!), and I stopped writing afterwards, had to catch up with studies and campus life. But I’m scared, you see, because what if I fail to commit to my writing? Sigh, I know that to beat fear is to just write, but… I guess I think too much of this, huh?

    But I’m starting to write some short stories lately, so I hope I’m getting better at having courage to commit to my writing. Wish me luck!

    PS: A great blog you have! I actually read some of your posts over and over. Thanks for inspiring me and your other readers 🙂

    • Happy New Year, Nurul! Hope you have a brilliant 2012 too. And I’m so glad you’re enjoying my posts.

      I wrote my first book while in high school (well, the UK equivalent of high school…) too. Mine was awful! But it was a great learning experience, so I’m really glad I did it. I think I still have the manuscript somewhere. 🙂

      Very best of luck — and I think courage comes over time. I’m quite a timid person, and I still find myself scared of new writing challenges — but part of being a writer is carrying on despite the fear. I’m sure you’ll find that courage within yourself.

  34. Happy New Year 🙂
    My goal for this year is to have more confidence into my own writing! I do know I’m good with words (in my mother tongue). I just write down stuff and coulndn’t really sort it out yet, respectively put it together so it’s a proper book. Does anyone know that feeling: So many things are running through your mind, brilliant phrases, wonderful sentences – mostly when you can’t type or write it down 😉 Once you have the time it’s basically gone, all the good ideas… 🙁
    So my goal is to find more time to go on writing. And I do need to read more, too! Especially books in English to improve my English.

    So cross your fingers 😉

    Stefanie Kelly

    • Best of luck, Stefanie! I think most of us know the feeling of having too many thoughts and ideas and struggling to get them all down. Plus I always find that the ideas seem better in my head — as soon as I put them onto paper, they’re inevitably no longer perfect…

      Hope your writing and reading both go brilliantly in 2012. 🙂

      • Thanks, Ali! Your website already was very helpful! Will study it more detailed in the next few days 😉
        And I agree completely with you saying ‘as soon as you put them onto paper they’re inevitably no longer perfect’! – So, what are you doing then once you’ve written it down and think on your mind the idea was much better? Any tip?


  35. Hii Ali,

    I am newcomer and I am from Asia. I really like read your blog because it’s motivate me to write (actually, I write in two languages). I have a blog to write what I thought, but I post something if I’m in mood. You know, really hard to control the mood :D.

    So, my goals this year, I will post frequently and try to control my mood wisely. Blog for me is like a place to learn English because my mother tongue is not English :). I hope I can finish my novels and published it. After that, I still productive writing. The important thing is I wanna be a writer or author :D. Hope this goal come true :).
    nulur’s last blog post ..welcome 2012 😉

    • Welcome, Nulur! And thanks for reading Aliventures — so glad it’s helping to keep you motivated.

      I know what you mean about being in the mood to write — I find that even if I’m not in the right mood, I start to feel more like writing once I get started on it. Best of luck with learning more English through your blogging; I think that writing regularly is a great way to learn 🙂

  36. Hey Ali!
    My writing goals this year are various, I am planning on being a consistent blogger, at least a few posts a week on my own and hopefully a couple of guest posts somewhere :), and my big goal is to finish the first draft of my first novel!

    I’m excited to hear about your goals, and keep learning from you!
    TrishaJenn’s last blog post ..Happy New Year!

    • Good luck with the first novel, Trisha! And hope your blogging goes well too — do give guest posting a try, it’s a fantastic way to get your writing in front of a big audience. Have a great 2012!

  37. Ali,

    I’m aiming to start earning a full-time living from my writing in 2012. This will involve writing magazine articles, as well as copy for businesses and nonprofits and ghostwriting for remarkable individuals.

    At the same time, I’ll be working on my blog about telling stories, inkably.com, and hopefully finding time for my creative writing projects too.

    David Masters’s last blog post ..Two Mechanics (Which One Are You?)

    • Best of luck, David! Sounds like you’ve got lots of strong avenues to explore for paid writing work. And great to hear that you’ll be keeping up with the more creative side of things too — it’s so easy to lose that when writing becomes a full-time job.

  38. Hi Ali!

    This year, I intend to write AND successfully market 3 books and their derivatives worldwide. The first one has essentially ALL the supporting research done. I now have to carve out time to pull it together and put my mind in the creative zone to make the flagship particularly powerful. I’ll be needing a copy editor and am looking forward to sending chapters your way. You seem to understand the importance of maintaining ones ‘voice’ versus what MANY editors do…either water it down or rewrite it in ‘their’ non compelling voice.

    There are MANY additional goals; this is probably the biggest one…in addition to launching my first musical album.

    :0 )

  39. Hi Ali,

    Just came across your site via ‘Write to done’ and am very impressed. When I first started reading the posts for this link I started wondering if I should add my goals as I have never attempted to write, or considered writing, a blog and I have unsuccessfully set so many unrealized goals. These have mostly been toward my fiction novels I have started. One of these has been an on and off again project for well over 10 years that I just completely reconsidered a vast portion of the plot. This is the year I resolved to get it finished.

    Yes, I have made that resolution in the past and a funny little thing called ;life’ keeps happening and the hours in the day keep slipping away. Those hours turn to days, to weeks, and then to months. When I finally do get some spare time I get engrossed in reading the most recent entries, just to refresh my memory, that when it comes time to actually press a key with a letter on it, I am too tired or have run out of time. I have come to the conclusion that what has been written already can await any changes until the edit(s). I have resolved this time to pick up where I left off, or where ever I feel the need to begin, and finish that first draft.

    Good luck to you in 2012, I look forward to following your advice and adventures of you and your followers.


    • Thanks, Steven, and welcome to Aliventures.

      I should say that while there are quite a lot of bloggers around here, I don’t actually think that EVERY writer should have a blog! (The comments section actually ends up a bit skewed because bloggers are more likely to leave a comment than non-bloggers.)

      Very best of luck with your novel — I know how tough it can be to get back into a long project after some time away. I think your plan to plough on forwards is a wise one: it’s easy to get sucked into editing, but the nature of a novel (or a novel-length project) is that you may well find that where you ended up wasn’t where you originally expected to go, and that even more editing is needed in light of that…

      Hope your 2012 goes brilliantly, and hope you stick around on Aliventures. 🙂


  40. Hey Ali,

    Happy New Year. This year I’ll be spending more time writing about the world I’ve created, Sebat. I’ve started three books all taking place in different areas in this world and at different eras. One of the books is near it’s completion of the first draft, another is starting fresh, while the third or more honestly the first is in a notebook somewhere, because less face it, it was garbage.

    Also my blog needs some more stories. It’s a fictional blog. It’s not a contemporary fictional blog where somebody writes about a fictional character. It has many of my writings on it. Most are just flash fiction, maybe a tad bit longer depending on your definition of flash fiction, while others are chapters out of books that are still only on my computer and hard drive.
    Thirdly I am back in school. I graduated high school nearly six years ago and I’m in the military, but this month I’ve started college. With that said I’ll have plenty of papers to write (agh!) I love my fiction and dread the thought of research papers and writing essays about books that have already been written.
    Have a good Year Ali.

      • Hey Bridges,

        Wow, sounds like a lot going on! Best of luck with combining the fiction blogging and the novel-writing — I think using chapters from work-in-progress for the blog is a great idea.

        Hope college goes really well, and that the research papers and essays aren’t too bad. I studied English Literature and found that studying novels/stories/plays (even ones from centuries ago…) helped me with my own writing.

        Have a great 2012!


  41. Hi Ali,
    Looking back, somewhere in 2009 I lost my ‘voice’ as a writer, and have yet to find it again. So, that’s 2012’s goal – to write! Something, anything, and to not be so blocked/fuzzy about writing. (this comment counts, for instance). Seth Godin’s post last year on “Talker’s block” helped with this realisation, some of your readers may find it helpful too? http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/09/talkers-block.html

    More specifically, to develop my professional voice and build that website we talked about at our monthly drinks in London. Albeit on a topic I’m very knowledgable and passionate about – sustainability, environmental impacts, and how to assess the options and vast amounts of information out there on this topic based on your values.

    My goal over the Christmas break was to set up the site (linked through my name above), and to come up with some posting themes.

    My next goal is to have two or three more foundation posts up by the end of Tuesday next week, so I can then write some of the more specific ideas floating around in my head.

    Goals for 2012 overall – to keep writing for the site, and to have an e-book (or two??) done by the end of the year.

    My other writing goal relates to occasionally updating my personal blog, to re-create a safe space where I reflect on my life.

    Thanks for the impetus to reflect, decide and share these thoughts.
    Karinne’s last blog post ..Sustainable Societies

    • Hi Karinne,

      How great to hear from you! And good luck with re-finding your voice — I think Seth makes good points in his post, that we tend to get over-anxious about putting words down on paper.

      Huge congrats on getting the site set up, and I hope the foundation posts go well — and the ebook(s) in due course. 🙂

      One thought — would private journalling be helpful to you? One of my writing tutors recommended keeping a writing journal (recording our thoughts after each writing session, thinking about what went well, how we felt about it, etc) — and I found that useful.

      Drop me a line any time if I can help at all, too!



  42. Hi Ali,

    I’m new here and I already love your posts and the free material you offer. My goal for 2012 is to finish my first non-fictin book. The book is about women and children of Gaza; how they struggle and make their way through life under Occupation. Thanks for asking and keep dazzling us with your beautiful posts!


  43. I started out 2012 very gung-ho, optimistic and with clear intermediate steps to shepherd me on the journey from cubicle torture to self-employed freelance writer status. BUT I’ve had to recalibrate after breaking 2 bones in my dominant arm. Sorta makes the ‘flow’ of writing difficult.
    HOwever, after another 5 weeks, I hope to be back in the saddle, 1-2 blog posts/wk, 1-2 writing sessions on the hist. fiction novel/ wk, and ‘enough’ research to feel prepared to leave the day job by autumn 2012.
    What a lovely collection of hopes and dreams- love the community aspect, Ali- thanks for creating the space!
    Margaret’s last blog post ..Interruptus

    • Ouch! Hope your arm is healing well, Margaret. I think your writing goals are very sensible (and well balanced) and best of luck with quitting the day job … I left the 9-5 world in mid-2008 and have no regrets!

      If there’s anything I can help with related to freelance writing, just let me know: I’d be happy to answer questions on the blog (or privately by email if that’s more appropriate).

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