I’ve recently noticed a clear change in the tone of my writing about the future. A few years ago, I had a pretty optimistic view of how things would go.
The US and a bunch of other countries signed the Paris Accord on climate change, finally getting serious about what was happening to our planet, even if it was just a first step. Marriage equality became the law of the land here in the USA and in a number of other countries. And changing demographics meant the Republican Party and all its retrograde ways would soon become marginalized, and we’d be able to take real steps forward for the progressive agenda.
My stories reflected this, to some extent. Yes, climate change would happen, but it could be managed. People would still live their lives, and the world would go on.
Now, everything has changed. I’m feeling much less optimistic about the future, and I may be acting out a little in my writing.
I destroyed the Earth.
To be fair, I didn’t do it lightly, and it did take a long time for it to play out. But in a world where racism has bust back into the open, where our weather map looks like a scene from “The Day After Tomorrow,” where Mexico has suffered an earthquake of almost unimaginable magnitude, and where we have the most unqualified man to ever sit in the White House who thinks climate change is a hoax, and who is supported by 40% of the population just because they like to stick it to “liberuls”… well, let’s just say it seemed easier to destroy the whole rotten mess and start fresh.
I’m sorry, folks, but I had to do it.
I want to write optimistic stories about the future again. I really do. I see glimpses of things that give me hope here and there – the way the beautiful Dreamers keep fighting, the people standing up for our trans troops, even the beautiful, human response of most of us in the face of horrific natural disasters.
And yet, I feel like the hope has been beaten out of me this week.
To my writer friends – are you feeling this too? Do you still find ways to write about a hopeful tomorrow? If so, tell me how.