In-Depth Articles About ... Motivation

How to Write When … You Can’t Seem to Get Started

How to Write When … You Can’t Seem to Get Started

Getting started is, for many of us, the hardest part of writing. Beginning a big project like a novel can be so daunting that writers put it off for years. But even smaller-scale “starts” can be tough. How often have you put off sitting down to write, for instance…

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How to Write When … You’re Not Making Any Money Yet

How to Write When … You’re Not Making Any Money Yet

This post is part of my ongoing “How to Write When…” series. All writers will go through a stage where they’re writing (or wanting to write) but they’re not yet making any money from it. That’s perfectly normal, and it’s part of learning your craft and building your...

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How to Write When … You’re Afraid

How to Write When … You’re Afraid

This post is part of my ongoing “How to Write When…” series.  Do you ever feel afraid to sit down and write? On the surface, fear may seem like an odd emotion to associate with writing – after all, there can’t be many activities less dangerous than sitting at a...

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Aliventures Summer Break 2023 – 10 Posts to Catch Up On

Aliventures Summer Break 2023 – 10 Posts to Catch Up On

It’s summer here in the UK … not that you’d know it to look out of the window! We seem to have had even more rain than usual recently. As usual, I’m taking a few weeks off from blogging over the summer: I’ll be posting again from mid-September. In the meantime, you...

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Nine Writing Milestones to Celebrate (and Goals to Aim For)

Nine Writing Milestones to Celebrate (and Goals to Aim For)

This post was first published in March 2012 and updated in June 2023. The writing path is rewarding and varied – but it can also feel very long. If your definition of “success” is to be a best-selling author and you’ve only written a couple of chapters of your first...

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How Long Does it Take to Write 1000 Words?

How Long Does it Take to Write 1000 Words?

This post was first published in April 2020 and updated in May 2023. ​Whether you’re working on a novel, blog post, academic essay, or any other big project, it’s really helpful to know roughly how long it takes to write 1000 words. Maybe it’s your daily target for...

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Are Your Writing Dreams Unrealistic?

Are Your Writing Dreams Unrealistic?

This post was first published in August 2014 and updated in April 2023. 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...

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How to Write When … You Have So Many Other Things to Do

How to Write When … You Have So Many Other Things to Do

This post is part of my ongoing “How to Write When…” series. How do you write when you have so many other things you need to get done? This comes up a lot for writers. I’ve been going through the results of the 2023 Aliventures survey (which closes today). A number of...

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How to Write When … You’re Tired

How to Write When … You’re Tired

This post is part of my ongoing "How to Write When..." series. Are you tired today? Perhaps you slept well, you’re full of energy, and you’re raring to go. But even if that’s the case today, you likely have days when you’re just feeling worn out. Or maybe you’re tired...

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How to Write When … You Feel Discouraged

How to Write When … You Feel Discouraged

This post is part of my ongoing “How to Write When…” series. Do you ever feel discouraged when it comes to writing? While I’d love to imagine that you always feel at your creative best, full of confidence, and without anyone or anything slowing you down … I know...

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How to Set Yourself Up For a Great Writing Day Tomorrow

How to Set Yourself Up For a Great Writing Day Tomorrow

Have you ended yet another day without any writing? Maybe you had great intentions, but things just kept happening. You woke up late. You had a busy morning at work. Colleagues were heading out for lunch, so you went along with them. You had to stop for groceries on...

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Seven Things to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Writing

Seven Things to Do When You Feel Like Giving Up on Writing

Should you just stop writing? Maybe it feels like it’s taking up a lot of your time and energy, and you’re not getting much (if anything) in return. Most writers go through times when they feel like giving up. It’s a normal and natural, if difficult, stage in the writing life…

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How to Be a More Disciplined Writer

How to Be a More Disciplined Writer

While some people like to imagine writers working in bursts of frenzied inspiration, the reality doesn’t generally look like that. There might be wonderful moments of flow – I’ve certainly had writing sessions where I lost track of time because I was so focused on putting words on the page…

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Summer Reading: Seven Posts You Might Have Missed

Summer Reading: Seven Posts You Might Have Missed

I’m taking a few weeks off from blogging, so regular posts will resume mid-September. In the meantime, here are seven of my favourite posts from the past seven months for you to enjoy: How to Be a Writer: Ten Important Steps to Becoming a Writer (and Living Your...

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Seven Habits of Serious Writers to Help You Go Further

Seven Habits of Serious Writers to Help You Go Further

I’ve been writing, on and off, since my early teens – but it wasn’t until 2008 that I truly took my writing seriously. It made a dramatic difference. By the middle of 2008, I was freelancing for a living. By the end of 2008, I’d embarked on a creative writing degree and started a novel, which became Lycopolis. In 2012, I wrote…

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How to Write When … Your Partner Isn’t Supportive

How to Write When … Your Partner Isn’t Supportive

One really tough issue that I’ve seen coming up over and over again, from lots of different writers, is “My partner doesn’t support my writing.” If you’ve got a spouse or live-in partner who’s unsupportive (or even critical) about you taking the time to write, that can be a huge challenge. (Similarly, if you’re living…

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Nine Powerful Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write

Nine Powerful Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write

All writers struggle with motivation at times. Whether you’re writing freelance pieces, content for your blog, a novel, short stories, poetry, or even an essay, thesis, or dissertation … it can be really tough to stay motivated to write. Even after 12+ years of writing full-time, I still have days when I don’t feel motivated…

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21 Ways to Grow as a Writer (Whatever Stage You’re At)

21 Ways to Grow as a Writer (Whatever Stage You’re At)

Do you ever feel like you’re not really progressing with your writing? Perhaps you’re at the start of your writing journey, but it’s hard going. You feel unconfident and unsure: you want to move forward, but you don’t know quite how. Perhaps you’ve been writing for years and years, and you’re in a bit of a rut. You feel bored, stagnant: you want to take…

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How to Write When … You Feel Like You’re Not Good Enough

How to Write When … You Feel Like You’re Not Good Enough

Do you ever feel like you’re just not good enough as a writer? Maybe you’re worried that your characters seem flat and two-dimensional. Perhaps your plots seem hackneyed or contrived. Maybe you think you should be making money (or more money) from your writing. Perhaps you’ve been writing, or trying to, for many years now…

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Taking a Writing Break for the End of 2020

Taking a Writing Break for the End of 2020

How has 2020 been for you, as a writer? Maybe it’s been a surprisingly good year. Perhaps, with social events cancelled, and no commute to work, you’ve found it easy to find time to write. But maybe it hasn’t gone like that. Most of the writers I know have had a tough year. They’ve been homeschooling their kids during lockdown, or they’ve been worried about…

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

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. Perhaps: 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 of your latest book…

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When to Give Up On Your Writing Project … and When to Keep Going

When to Give Up On Your Writing Project … and When to Keep Going

Have you ever given up on a big writing project part-way through – perhaps after months or years of work? I’ve abandoned plenty (three novels and two blogs, at the last count). I’ve also stuck with others even when I thought of quitting. If you’re currently struggling with a major project …

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Are You Too Old (or Too Young) to Become a Writer?

Are You Too Old (or Too Young) to Become a Writer?

This post was originally published in March 2016, and updated in August 2020. An email from an Aliventures reader landed in my inbox with the subject line, “Am I too old to become a writer?” I opened it up, assuming she was in her 70s or 80s. No. She was 37. Here’s...

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How to Write When … Your World is Upside Down

How to Write When … Your World is Upside Down

Right now, it might well feel like your world has been turned upside down. Most countries have been in some form of lockdown in an attempt to combat Covid-19. Many people have been working from home for the first time, often with young children at…

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How Can You Keep Writing if You Work Long Hours?

How Can You Keep Writing if You Work Long Hours?

“I work in excess of 60 hours during the week, not to mention what gets handled on the weekends. So my question is this: how would you balance that with a love and desire to write?” That’s what a reader wrote to me … and I wanted to address his question on the blog…

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How to Write When … You Keep Getting Interrupted

How to Write When … You Keep Getting Interrupted

Are you getting interrupted a lot at the moment? Maybe you’ve got young children who are off school – or hungry teenagers – or a partner who’s furloughed and bored. Perhaps the routines that worked just fine when you had time in the house on your own…

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How to Write When … You Have Kids

How to Write When … You Have Kids

All writers have to fit their writing in around other things in their life. The vast majority, at least when they start out, have a day job, studies, or some equivalent. Writing when you have kids, though, can be a particularly tough challenge. Raising kids, obviously enough, takes time…

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It’s Okay to Take a Break from Writing

It’s Okay to Take a Break from Writing

Wherever you are in the world, life is likely looking very different from how it did a few weeks ago. Here in the UK, everything except for essential businesses like grocery stores has closed until further notice. Schools closed two weeks early for the Easter break,...

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How Much Writing Can You Realistically Add Into Your Week?

How Much Writing Can You Realistically Add Into Your Week?

You’ve probably heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a worldwide November-long event each year where participants aim to write 50,000 words – a short novel – within a month. In 2018 (for some reason I couldn’t find stats for 2019), 287,327 writers signed...

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How to Get Back On Track When Your Writing Plans Go Awry

How to Get Back On Track When Your Writing Plans Go Awry

This post was originally published on Aliventures in May 2016, and updated in September 2019. So you’ve made a plan for the next few months. For a month or two, everything goes fine. You’re writing regularly, hitting your targets, and feeling great about your...

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What’s “Real” Writing – and Does Yours Count?

What’s “Real” Writing – and Does Yours Count?

Do you ever worry that your writing doesn’t really “count” somehow? The first time I felt this was back in 2008 – 2009, when I had two major strands to my writing: my freelance blogging that paid the bills, and my fiction that I was writing as part of an MA degree…

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