That Took 5 Years, But It’s Done (For Now)

Over the past 5 years, I’ve been living with with my latest novel. Originally conceived as a social satire about two robots who accidentally bring about the downfall of mankind, it has grown and evolved in ways I couldn’t predict.

In the past 5 years, I started a new job, got married, took on more household chores as my wife completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work while working full time, purchased a house, and grappled with a lack of direction with my own existence. Through all of that, the book and these characters strapped themselves in for the ride. What started as a social satire evolved into a tale about a mid-level robot disillusioned with his lot in life. He feels useless, rudderless, and unimportant, grappling with the idea that the world would exist just fine with or without him.

As I just noted above, I struggled with the same emotions within the past few years. It’s something I imagine many people struggle with, once all of the exciting, “new” adventures in life are replaced with the routine of a day-to-day balancing work, errands, and sleep, only to rinse and repeat. It’s easy, as I found, to let that zest for life dissipate. There were many nights where I let it disappear out the window as I sat myself down for some mind-numbing television after a long day at work.

The hard part to reframe the mind and find a new zest for life in the world around you.

This book, through both the highs and lows, has helped me cope with these struggles and guided me to a better understanding of myself and life, as well as recolored how I see the world around me. I still intend it to be an action-packed, scifi romp with humorous interludes, for sure, but it bears the framework to exorcising a melancholic demon I hopefully will never have to encounter again.

I’ve completed six drafts in the last 5 years. The tentative title of this project has evolved from “Rocket & H.I. 97 Destroy Everything” to “Machine: A Cybernetic Fairytale.” Multiple subplots and twists were either dropped or streamlined, and I had help from a couple of phenomenal, fantastic, super supportive writer friends who took time out of their busy schedules to read, provide commentary/edits, and guide me to the heart of this story. I will forever be grateful and in debt to them. Truly.

I don’t know what will happen with this book. My intent is to put together a package and query indie publishers, but obviously that’s a beast of persistence all on its own. I can only hope my timing, luck, and perseverance align at the right time to manifest this book into a tangible object on store shelves.

A couple of years ago, I put together a vision board. Among the many items I drew on this board, the robot book was one of them. Since that time, just about half of the goals and desires came true. I can only hope that this novel is the latest vision board dream that manifests.

For now, I will keep at it. I have a few short stories I need to finish, a new novel idea to outline, and a comic book miniseries to script. But more on all of that stuff later. For now, I will allow myself to feel satisfaction at what, in this moment, is a completed novel manuscript.

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