Despite still being in lockdown, 2021 seems to be rushing along at a breakneck speed. I can’t believe that this weekend the clocks went forward and the nights are lighter. (Let’s hope the weather continues to improve).
I’ve been working hard on my writing so far this year and one of my goals was to get one of my long standing works in progress to a stage where I can submit it to agents. But I’ve realised there’s a major snag in my plot – and it’s all thanks to Covid – the gift that keeps on giving.
My work is a contemporary novel based around a professional woman who is desperately trying to balance her marriage, being a mother to young children and her career.
My heroine is the breadwinner of the family as her husband has recently become a full-time student to retrain. On her return to work from maternity leave after having her second child, she finds that her lovely boss has been replaced with the boss from hell. He’s a bully and seems intent on pushing her out of her job, something she absolutely cannot allow to happen.
And here’s my dilemma. On her return to work she asks if she can be allowed to work flexibly so that some of her hours can be worked from home. Of course her boss flatly refuses believing that working from home is a euphemism for watching daytime TV. Now that Covid has put paid to that kind of attitude, the premise that she wouldn’t be allowed to work from home is redundant.
So now I’m a bit stumped about what to do to fix this. Covid has changed our way of life so much that the dilemma is how do we reflect this in our writing? Do we set our stories before 2020 at the risk of them being automatically outdated, do we ignore the impact Covid has had on our lives or do we try to imagine a life post Covid where we hope that life will return to something that resembles the life we used to know? Bearing in mind the length of time it takes to get anything published, I’m tempted to move it forward to a life post Covid, keeping it similar to how we used to live but adding in the change in people’s perceptions. In doing this I can only hope that I get it right. Or at least close to it so that a further edit isn’t too onerous. So now another major edit is needed. Thanks Covid.