Tag Archives: Writing Theory

New Post Up At MatthewKeville.com: On The Truth Of Rock And Roll – Part 1: The Inspiration

The story of one writer’s inspiration to write one long story.  Take a look.


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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Inspirations, Links, My Life, The Truth of Rock and Roll, Writing Theory

New Post Up at Matthewkeville.com: Am I Doing This Right?

There’s a new post up a matthewkeville.com where I ponder if I’m living the Writer’s Life as it should be lived.  Check out “Am I Doing This Right?

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Filed under Links, My Life, Writing Theory

I Could Use Some Advice

Hey, all.

I could use some advice for writing career going forward.  If you could head on over to my author’s website and check out the latest post, maybe leave a comment, I would appreciate it.


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What I Wouldn’t Give…

“Anything lost can be found again, except time.  Just like every other creative person I know, I have ten thousand projects that I want to do and only one lifetime to do them in.  I constantly have to remind myself of what’s really important and what I really should be concentrating on.”
–    Joseph Michael Linsner

As you might expect, I haven’t exactly been idle in the two months since I last posted on this blog.  The problem is that I haven’t exactly been productive, either.  It’s not that I haven’t been writing; it’s that I’ve been working on side projects, on the theory that, with the development of the website unavoidably delayed (once again I curse you, technical problem that was really just a misunderstanding on my part, and all the time lost as a result!), this was the time to get them done.

I still thought I could do all ten thousand projects in one lifetime.  The universe had been trying to tell me for some time that I can’t.  I’d found the poem “You Want a Social Life, With Friends” by Kenneth Koch taped up on an English professor’s door; a Facebook friend posted a quote by Steve Jobs about how focus isn’t about saying “yes” to one good idea, it means saying “no” to the hundred other good ideas you had at the same time.

And still I tried to deny that it applied to me.  Still I wanted to do the ten thousand things.

Then this past week hit me with a one-two-three combo.  First, I saw this trailer:

If you haven’t seen American Pop, I thoroughly recommend it.  It is indeed a movie of beauty and power, but if I have one complaint, it’s that it’s not nearly as musical as the trailer makes it seem.

Anyway, seeing that trailer, I began to ask myself: were the projects I was working on actually helping me to “grab it, hold it, and make [myself] heard”, or even work toward it?  Oh, they were great fun, but that was actually part of the problem.  Because last Friday, the second punch of the combo hit me: I took a look at those projects, and realized just how much I’d accomplished on those projects in the past two months.  I’d actually done a lot of work.  My new habits of setting a three-page-a-day goal for myself and focusing on one project, instead of having half-a-dozen documents open at a time, were paying off.

And they weren’t contributing to the career I’m trying to build.  I’d spent a lot of time, energy and pages on those projects, and they were not going to help me grab it, hold it, and make myself heard.

Then, on Saturday, I was reading an art book of Joseph Michael Linsner’s works, and I saw the quote at the top of this post.  And that was enough.  Anticlimactic but true.

I went out for a walk after that, a long walk, and I started thinking: I’ve often looked at people who are successful in their art and thought “what I wouldn’t give”.  But what have I given?  Anything?  Oh, I’ve given the time and the work, but that’s not even worth considering.  Like Benny says in the trailer, this isn’t work.  This is play.  I’ve got a full and busy life, and that’s good, but it means that I require a lot of focus to get any meaningful writing done.  I don’t have time to waste, if I ever really did.

How can I say “What I wouldn’t give” if I won’t even sacrifice some fun but distracting side projects?

So that’s what I’ve done.  One of them is probably gone for good, while the other – a tabletop roleplaying game that I would very much like to finish if only so I can play it – I hope to get back out again someday.  I’m a little sad about it, but someone wise once said that a good writer must be willing to kill their darlings, and it’s time for me to realize that that’s what I need to do.


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Filed under Inspirations, My Life, Writing Theory

Where I’ve Been

Hey, all.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Since Thanksgiving.  And I see I still have some readers.  I’m honored, I really am.

If you’re wondering where I’ve been, well…I’ve been working and writing as usual…and I’ve been thinking very hard about this article by Jane Friedman.  I’ve explored the rest of her site a bit, but it all comes back to that article.

What I’ve decided, after all that thought, is that I’ve been going about all of this the wrong way.

When I started Dreams of the Shining Horizon, my primary goal was to gain a wider audience for my writing.  I had a lot of other things to say – things I’d been waiting to say for years, in some cases – but ultimately, the goal was to get the word out about my fiction.  I was inspired by people I knew, and knew of, who had started out by blogging and ended up publishing.

What I didn’t understand was that I had it backwards.  Those people had started with a passion, and a desire to share it.  They would have been satisfied to blog indefinitely, but they managed to build a body of material and an audience that allowed them to publish.  Me, I had a body of material, and I wanted to build an audience, and it seems that there’s a different path for people like me – a different set of steps.  And I believe it’s time I started following those steps.

(Long past time, really.  That article may only be a few months old, but I’m sure that articles like it have been circulating for years.  And of course, some of it should have been common sense.  I mean, I’m trying to build an audience, but the name of my blog doesn’t even reference my brand?)

What all this amounts to is that change is coming.

I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to launch matthewkeville.com with the New Year, like I might have hoped.  There are some issues with the domain registration that I need to resolve first, then of course I need to build the actual site.  In the end, rough estimate, I could be looking at maybe March.

(For the record, if you want to follow Jane Friedman’s instructions yourself, and you choose Bluehost as I did, get your account there as your first step.  They are also a domain name registrar, and you can register the domain name for your Author’s Website through them, and not have to transfer it from another registrar like I’m going to need to do.)

I have at least two more major posts to go at this blog – two more things to say – but once matthewkeville.com goes up (I’ll definitely let you know when), I’ll be shifting operations over there.  I hope most of you will follow me when I go.  I won’t be starting entirely from scratch: I’ll be reposting my reviews, my writing theory posts, my autobiographical posts, and anything else that seems relevant to authoring, so there will be plenty to read right from the get-go.

Oh.  Something else that will be changing: the way I’m marketing my writing.  I’ve cancelled the auto-renewal on the KDP Select membership for Hometown and The Truth of Rock and Roll.  Once the current period of enrollment ends, I’ll be putting them back up on Smashwords (and all associated websites), plus maybe one or two more.  I had to try it, but the benefits of the KDP Select program – and there were some, make no mistake – didn’t outweigh losing other channels of distribution.

At the same time, I’ll be taking all of my short stories down.  There have been some sales, but on the whole, putting them up piecemeal, one at a time, hasn’t done anyone any good.  Instead, I’ll publish them in collections once I get together enough on a particular theme.  That way, I’ll be able to provide them with real cover art, instead of pictures downloaded from Shutterstock, and people will be able to read more in the downloadable samples than the title page (seriously, this is something else I should have seen before.  A 10% sample of a 7-page story is not enough to get a good idea what the story is about!).  I may post new short stories in the blog section of matthewkeville.com before I put them into the collections.  I’m not sure yet how I’m going to handle that.

I don’t know if you can tell, but as much as I’m excited and hopeful about all this, I’m also a bit frustrated and tired.  I know it’s a serious character flaw, but even if everything works out exactly the way I hope it will – and I know just how slim the chances for that really are – I’m not the sort of person who can look at my mistakes, shrug, and say “Welp, it got me where I am today.  I have no regrets.”  I do regret.  I count every mistake and wrong path as time gone from a finite lifetime.

Still.  It’s New Year’s Eve.  I will curse the lost time and cast myself into the future.

We’re down to the last few hours.  Let’s watch it burn, and hope something better rises from the ashes.  Happy New Year to you all.




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Long Week

Hey, all.

I know I haven’t produced much material this week (and boy, do my readership numbers show it).  It’s just been busy at my day job, on top of which not one but two attempted columns fell apart on me.  Just stick with me, I’ll see if I can’t get you something to read next week.

Meanwhile, I’m starting to realize that I don’t have the aptitude for self-promotion that it takes to be a really successful indie author (or blogger for that matter).  It may be time for me to seek representation.  I’ll let y’all know about any developments on that front.

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Filed under My Life, Writing Theory

What’s Happening And What’s Coming Up


So this is going to be the first of the “Process of Creation” posts I discussed in my “A Few Changes” post that I put up a couple weeks ago. I don’t have a real plan here, so I thought the best way to start might be to just discuss the things I’m working on, and the things I’m planning for the future.

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Filed under My Life, Writing Theory