Escapism Is Not a Bad Thing

October 21, 2013

j0309600A few years ago, when I was in my master degree program for creative writing in Sydney, I was telling a friend that sometimes it's hard to take my work seriously enough to put in the long hours necessary to find success.

“My sister helps kids walk,” I told my friend, Nic, a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Randwick Children's Hospital. “I write romances.” I made a face. “It's hard to think of myself as helping the world be a better place.”

“But you are helping,” Nic insisted. “When I lose a patient at work, forgetting about it for a little while in the pages of a book is exactly what I need.”

Honestly, I hadn't thought about it that way until Nic said it. But that's what I do; when life is getting to be too much, all I want is a little down time with a good book. I want a story that will make me laugh or gasp or in any way take my mind off my own troubles.

Nic put me on the road to having the right attitude about being a writer of silly stories. Silly is exactly what people need sometimes. I mean, really, why else do I love reading about a wizard in Chicago battling the forces of evil? (I love you, Jim Butcher! In a purely platonic and professional way, of course. 😉 )

I write about superheroes because I love stories of good versus evil. I write romantic stories because I believe that love is the answer to everything. And I write things that make me laugh because I love to laugh! And I love to make other people laugh!

So thanks, Nic, for helping me to see that my job is important. I take my silly stories more seriously since talking to you that night. Now I'm focused on making sure I become the best escape artist I can be – to help you and everyone else who needs a little break now and then. 😉


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  1. I was amazed after Hurricane Katrina how several of my writer friends had crises of faith about whether writing was worthwhile. To me it seemed obvious: It was reading (and knitting) that got me through those gut-wrenching weeks of filing insurance claims, wondering how well our house had survived, researching mold remediation, helping my husband choose contractors by phone, etc.

    Yet some of those friends have written little since Katrina. Kitty, I’m glad you learned the truth of the value of fiction early on. Books are the one thing you can count on to help you feel better when you’re sad, sick, lonely, or homeless.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Shauna! I haven’t been through anything nearly as challenging as living through the aftermath of a major crisis like Hurricane Katrina, but I can imagine good stories gave people some moments of peace and comfort. I sure hope I can provide a little laughter and peace for people, too, regardless of how their day went. Keep writing, girlfriend! 🙂


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