So… it turns out that writing is hard to do. At least for me it is. I have a strange ability to pay attention to more than one thing at a time, except when it comes to writing. The problem is: this strange ability wants to creep in on my focus and that takes away from my writing. If you’ve ever written anything, you know that losing focus is a major hindrance. I probably have at least four novels that I’ve started and never made it past chapter three. I think another one progressed to chapter seven. The discipline required to continue in the same story for any length of time was seemingly beyond me. Hence, my previous focus only on short stories.

Then I started writing my first Secret Agent X story. I was very excited to be writing for an actual publication and my enthusiasm carried me forward quite a way. The minimum requirement was fifteen thousand words. We’re looking at thirty to forty pages by most counts. I think I spit out twenty pages in no time. I did research on timelines in the late 30s. What events were going on? How could I tie my story into it? I had my hero globe-trotting, going from New York to Panama to Cambodia. What did the canal look like? What were the jungles of Cambodia like?

That’s when distraction set in. I started looking at comics. I was reading some kind of novel. I was working on a film or something along those lines. Full time job, kids, etc. You know how it is. But it wasn’t just usual life stuff. I genuinely wanted to write something else. I couldn’t focus on this story because I had another story in mind. It sat there, percolating, brewing, clawing at the sides of my brain until it broke out onto the page. Blam! A brand new first chapter to a brand new Secret Agent X story.

This new story had a theme attached to it of facing one’s fear. That makes sense because I had a fear of not being able to finish a story. I had a fear of my story not being good enough for a real editor from an actual publishing house. I had a fear that my ending would fall flat.

I powered through and got there. The pull of being a published author was strong and so I managed to finish it somehow. The story was called, “Ruins of Lost Souls” and it was published by Cornerstone Books and Airship 27 Productions in their Secret Agent X Anthology Volume Three.

Next up: Marketing! As with previous creative endeavors, I failed at this. The creation process doesn’t account for what to do with it once I’m done. I was never comfortable promoting myself and I couldn’t afford to have anyone do it for me. There were some sales and I received tiny checks in the mail, but nothing to cover the cost of even buying my own copies for resale. None of that mattered. I finally had my name out there, available on Amazon.

I overcame my multi-focus complex to finish what I consider a very short novel. Next, my editor put out a call that he needed someone to share hotel expenses for New York Comic Con—and that person would have free access and a table to sell and sign stuff! I raised my virtual hand high!!!!!

If I can make it in New York…well, you know how it goes. Next up, New York City!!!

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Author: Jarrod

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