by Ali (With thanks to Michael Pollock for the article suggestion and title.)

I’ve been writing, on and off, since my early teens – but it’s only in the last three years that I’ve really taken my writing seriously.

It’s made a dramatic difference. I write far, far more. I write better. I finish things – something which, at one point in my writing life, was pretty much unheard of.

In the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside all sorts of great writers, during my MA in Creative Writing, and in my freelancing. I’ve noticed that serious writers – people who finish novels, who publish ebooks, who run successful freelancing businesses – typically have most of the following seven habits:

Read More


by Ali

A few years ago, I’d look at published writers and think that they were somehow different from me. After all, their books were gripping and fluent – unlike my stumbling attempts at first drafts. Their blogs had hundreds or thousands of readers.

They were real writers. And, deep down, I was afraid that I could never really become one of them.

But as I’ve taken more and more steps into the writing world, I’ve realised that my perception just doesn’t match up to the reality. Writers – at all levels – have just the same struggles as you and me.

I’m going to go through eight secrets. Eight things which all writers know – but which you might never hear them admit.

Read More


Lots of people can write decent non-fiction. You’re probably one of them. You can write a decent blog post, or a report at work, or an essay. You can put your ideas down on the page, in a reasonably engaging way.

I’m going to say this, despite being an advocate of great writing: Non-fiction doesn’t have to be especially well-written.

Of course, it needs to be competent. But it doesn’t need to be perfect. If you’re looking for information online, you don’t mind a few grammatical mistakes, or a sloppy conclusion.

Fiction is very, very different.

Click the link to read more!

by Ali

In last week’s post, 7 Habits of Serious Writers, I mentioned the importance of actually writing, plus the need to redraft. I thought it’d be worth putting those stages into context – because they’re not all you need for an effective piece.

Every finished piece of writing passes through four stages:

Sure, you can publish a blog post without doing any planning, or any rewriting and editing. Unless you’re very lucky, though (or writing something extremely short), you’ll be lacking a clear focus, the structure won’t quite work, and there’ll be clumsy sentences all over the place.

I wouldn’t call that “finished”, myself. I’d call it a draft.

Read More


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.

Click the link to read on!