I’ve been trying to figure out why going to work, to be precise, going to novel-writing work, has become something I dread. If an editor gives me the green light on a piece of journalism, I go to it with relish. But Dr Dan 5? At 9am with the file open on my laptop, oh woe, ever-so woe is me.
It pains me to say this but I’m not sure Dan 5 will ever see the light of day. Though I made a determined start on it several months ago I find I’m defeated by its unavoidable theme: the pandemic. This morning, yet again, I’ve been searching for plot points where I could insert a bit of comedy. Trust me, there are none. Covid-19 has changed doctors’ lives in entirely negative ways and Dan’s story, which I have always tried to keep realistic, must reflect that.
There is also, of course, the Trevor Buxton factor. He was respiratorily (is that a word?)-challenged in Book 1. What chances for him seven years on, with a virus that can wreck even healthy lungs? Truth be told, I can’t bear to kill him off. I want to leave him as he is at the end of Dr Dan, Dr Dad, blissfully happy in an unexpected frost-blossom romance.
What, if anything, to do? I suppose I could release a few Dan 5 excerpts here on my website. I might even try writing Dr Dan’s Covid diary (less onerous than plotting a novel). If nothing else, that could be my penance for complaining about the GP protocols we’ve all been subjected to since early 2020. At the practice where I’m registered it is still almost impossible to see a doctor face-to-face and I know that’s not unusual. But face-to-face has been the very essence of Dr Dan’s work.
Will doctors ever go back to the old ways? It’s hard to imagine they will. Could there be a cheerful post-pandemic Dr Dan book somewhere down the line? Never say never. But, forgive me dear, loyal readers, I can say with confidence, it won’t be this year.