Sometimes the world is a terrible and terrifying place. If you’re like me, it’s easy to get caught up in the news, trying to make sense of the chaos. Hours or even days can pass by while I hang on to the hope that somehow the world will be made right again.
It’s easy to wonder if writing fantasy novels is a worthwhile way to spend my time these days. My doubts come from feeling like writing fiction is a luxury for times when the world isn’t in upheaval, but that time doesn’t really exist. The world is full of people doing ugly, cruel things to each other. That fact isn’t a recent development, and yet, human beings have been creating art as a form of self-expression pretty much from the beginning.
I’m often mentally and emotionally exhausted these days. The stress of living with constant uncertainty wears me down. I know I need to step away from it all and only come back when I have recovered my strength, but so much has happened lately that stepping away is at least as frightening as trying to keep up to date. Often, the only way I can feel better once it all starts to feel like too much to handle is to step back and read a book for a while.
My goal as a writer is to give people a place to escape. With so much happening it is easy to become overwhelmed by it all. Reading fiction is a chance to briefly step into another world, catch your breath and find equilibrium again. We all need these little escapes. No matter the medium, art offers us all a chance to rest and heal before we jump back into the fray.
The world needs creativity and beauty. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t important. Don’t let anyone silence you. We’re constantly being reminded of ugliest, darkest side of humanity these days. Let’s keep making art so none of us forget that there is hope, too.