As writers, we tend to allow our readers to escape into the world that we have created for a couple of hours. As readers, we also lend ourselves to escape into the worlds that others have created. Why do we need to escape from the world that we know?
The answer is really easy, sometimes the world that we know is too harsh, too political, and above all is in chaos. When I was in college and the class work got to be a little too much, I would indulge into the world of the Soap Opera. Yes, I’m a soap junkie and proud of it. Sometimes it helped to see others have their world thrown into a bit more chaos than my own. Back when the events of 9/11 controlled the airways for days and weeks, my family took small trips to the high country to escape the devastation of what was going on the television.
Right now, you can say that the world that we are in currently is very chaotic, with a President, who uses language that others find offensive, to a leader overseas that is working on missiles to strike, and above all seeing the devastation that the western part of the country with fires and now mudslides. Yes, it’s nice seeing the pictures of the snow in the southern part of the country, for that is not as chaotic unless you live there. But when it is compared to everything else going on snow is nice while everything else is a not so nice.
That is the reason why we need to escape. Movies help us escape, television shows help us to escape, but if you really want to escape and use the creative force that is imagination then books are a better way to go. You can slip in there and create the characters the way that you imagine them and how you imagine them speaking to you if you go as far as taking on the presence of a character.
When I use to read textbooks, especially business textbooks, I would pretend that Anthony Mason, from CBS, was reading them too me. Somewhat like an audiobook. It made it so much easier to read the textbooks thinking that a business journalist was reading them to me than using my own voice. That was in a way for me to use escapism while focusing on the material of the class.
We all need to escape for a while, and that includes escaping into our work as writers. Escaping into our worlds, visiting our characters and the situations that we put them. That is what is the joy for me in writing is that I can escape into the world that I created and think about it clearly until that’s all I want to think about. So we all should take a little time to escape from what we know and indulge in what we are creating, which is art.