Okay, so it’s a bit rough out there at moment, riots and economic melt-downs surround us. If we’re not careful the state of the world will bring us down and crush any remaining joy out of us.
Time to chill, to escape it all. But how? If you can get away, physically, then do so. Hop on a plane, catch the Eurostar and get away to some place foreign where you barely speak the language and can’t read the papers even if you wanted to! Get on the beach, hike in the woods, be oblivious to it all. If only for a short while.
For longer lasting escape mechanisms have a look here. I’m sure there’s a creative easily accessible, cheap escape route that suits you.
Read. Find some fiction that really takes you away from it all. Fantasy is the obvious choice, but don’t overlook adventure, romance, sci-fi, or even some classic fiction. I’d suggest something you can fully immerse yourself into, something where you can be there with the characters, completely in their world. A series would be best wouldn’t it, or some very long book that takes the rest of your life to read. By the time you’re out the other side everything will seem okay again. I’d try out War and Peace – long ago, far away and very-very long.
Movies. Get yourself a stack of DVDs, close the curtain and be anywhere else you want to be. A thematic approach would probably help. Clearly something like the Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter films (as well as the books obviously) would help. Or a season of Kevin Costner (or whoever floats your boat). Perhaps films of the ancient world, eg Troy, Alexander, The 300, Gladiator, Clash of the Titans. Get the idea?
Paint. Immerse yourself in your art. Find a landscape you want to be in, be there, paint every detail. Portraiture can work the same way. Or any sort of image that will take some time to transfer to canvas/paper because of the intricate details you need to focus on to make this picture vibrant and mesmerising. You need a big canvas, a detailed image/idea – something to keep you focussed and obsessed for ages. Think Sistine Chapel in your living room.
Writing. Yes, go off and live in your head. It’s a great escape. If you’re creating characters, you have amazing places to go. You need to sort out all the details of their back story, where they live, what they like, who their friends are, what clothes they wear, what their bedroom is like, do they drive a Jag or a BMW? All the details you need to know so you can write about them with complete confidence, as if they are your friend. Then you have the joy of setting – what are the places like where your story happens? If you’re creating your own fantasy or sci-fi world then this job can keep you employed for ages and ages. All those new languages, tribes and places to invent – what bliss!! For all stories you have the problems of plot to work out, the correct sequencing of events, the minutest details that create a convincing story. A big story, a story you want well written will take an inordinate amount of thinking time. It’s the best place to escape the trials of the real world. The problems of your characters and stories are so much more fun to deal with than the helplessness you might face in the real world.
So, go on, escape. Too much reality is not good for us. Travel far, read widely, watch movies – bloody great box sets; paint murals as grand as anything done by Michelangelo or Leo; write your own epic, or series – we need a new JK. We’ve got to find a way to push some bits of reality as far away as we can, otherwise we go mad too.
Oh, and indulge in your favourite tipple and lots of chocolate or carbs. Life is too miserable for diets at the moment.