In novels, one of the issues I am interested in, is a person’s public life vs their public life.
Most of us are more successful in one than the other. Gender matters in this public life vs. private life.
A woman who is successful at work and fails as a mother or wife—in a novel at least—it’s hard to justify her feeling good about herself.
A man who is successful at work and fails to be a good husband and father might still be considered a success in any story.
How do we push back against our stories?
If you are spending time with your family for Christmas, if your children love you, that’s some kind of success at home. Work? That’s the funny thing. Most people will be remembered by their families not because they drove a bus, a car, a kindergarten class, a boat, a publishing company, a law firm. We are by remembered by the people who love us. In a story, you have to get all this in there, public and private success and failure and the lines that connect them.