Hi, Gang. Craig here again, and I have a little different topic for you today. I’m fairly sure everything I’ve ever written could be considered escapism to one degree or another. Let’s talk about that.
• the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.
That’s a fair definition. In many cases, escapism gets a bad rap. People use terms like, derivative, unrealistic, or waste of time when talking about escapism.
It might be somewhat true. You could spend what few spare hours you have working the food bank, cleaning up plastics, or creating an app that resembles TV Guide, but displays everything across multiple platforms.
The fact is that we can’t work all the time. Our brains need downtime. You can fill that any way that makes you happy. Maybe you plant a garden, or something.
If there was ever a model for why we need a little escapism it has to be 2020. At least it’s a good place to start my explanation. Somewhere amid the murder hornets, multiple hurricanes, wildfires, political bickering, and C-19, we all need to just step back from reality for a few minutes.
This extends beyond 2020. Our lives are complicated every year. We all have family dynamics, social media, mandatory overtime, mergers, layoffs, or something going on in our lives and we need a few minutes to catch our breath.
There are a million outlets for this, but I’m a writer and so are most of you. Escapist fiction allows readers to get away for a brief time and catch their breath. It also does the same thing for me when I write it.
We all need that little break. Occasionally, we need to see the hero win. To have a reasonably happy ending. Sometimes you need the antihero to shoot the antagonist through the head, before fading into the darkness. (I’ve written this character and can’t tell you how satisfying it is. It also keeps me from doing it in real life.)
Escapism shows us that we can overcome the obstacles in our life. Sometimes we have to hang on just a little bit longer, like our favorite characters. Sometimes we have to gather new intelligence and make a new plan, but it can happen. Fiction can help us understand and come to grips with some of this.
Give yourselves a break. Put on your spandex, pull that sword from the stone, fire up your starship, or stir that cauldron counterclockwise. Step outside yourselves for a few hours and pick up a bit of escapist fiction.
Just a side note here. All of your Story Empire authors offer a bit of escapist fiction, and there are even a few free anthologies that will give you a taste of multiple authors.