Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Literary vs. Escapist

I have this deep resounding fear that I'm writing the wrong thing. I sit down to write, and sometimes it's eloquent, gut wrenching truth. It's only three lines, and as I read over it I feel like I'm betraying everyone I've ever known. I slam shut the laptop, and remind myself that this is why I write escapist fiction.

Sometimes I sit down to write, and the words come crashing to the page in an all too familiar way that makes my past too much of a reality, too heartbreaking for me to accept, and too many shadows are cast on people who are now very different than how they turned up on my page. This time, I click the "x" and just close the document. "Do you want to save?" No, why would I ever want to save something like that?

Then, I'm running, running to the bookstore to pick up something that will take me away from the Pandora's Box I've just unleashed on myself. I look at covers, and I imagine my own sitting there on the shelf beside all the others. I find one I want, but hesitantly put in back on the shelf, reminding myself that it's too hard to hold a hardback book and feed my child at the same time. I'll just download it later...

The later never comes, and instead I find myself reading literary magazines and journals, all of which are hell bent on exalting the writer who dug within themselves to expose some nasty truth about humanity. I hear a whisper, you have stories like those. Those are your best stories. 

So I sit.
I open a document.
I punch out the condescending drivel and absolute truths that have come from years of living my life. Then...

I hear my child doing that fussy cry when he wakes up that will surely be followed by hysterics if I don't go collect him. But, by now, I'm so deep in my reverie of lost dreams and corruption that I have to pull myself back to here, to the now. I have to try not to resent my husband as he attempts to harness a few hours of sleep before he goes back into work third shift.

This is why I write escapist fiction, I remind myself. It's fun. And I mean it.


I have been wanting to write a few articles on escapist fiction, and I intend to do so. But, I wanted to start with my reason why. Thanks for reading. 

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