A good place to get lost for a week: somewhere in the backwoods of Mississippi.
Learn, improve, DIY, success … been reading so much lately about bettering your self, your business, your health, your lifestyle. They say content has to educate, entertain, or enlighten. There are many times when we just need some pure entertainment. I don’t care or need to know about estate planning law. I have never been to Mississippi. I don’t care terribly for the law or courtrooms. But I care about Seth Hubbard–and his history. For hundreds of pages I cared about Seth Hubbard and wondered what happened. I’m bummed I just finished Sycamore Row.
A sign of a good story is that you don’t care what happened or even what’s going to happen–you’re just happy to be a part of it.
I don’t want to get to the end because that means I won’t be a part of it anymore. The book doesn’t “live on” (well, I suppose a series does), once you finish that last page, it’s over, you’re no longer part of it. I want to escape. People talk about how you can’t escape your own reality. Why not? What’s wrong with that? You can escape for a bit and come back to it–you have to come back to it, that part isn’t optional. But get lost in someone else’s story, let the writer take you to a faraway place and hear, smell, see, and feel what they’re experiencing. Isn’t that the point of a story?
I had to consciously force myself to read a “pleasure” book to get away from the “business” books I’ve been reading. Yes, I enjoy them, yes, I’m a huge fan of learning, but there has to be a balance. We have to learn, create, publish, but we need to consume and enjoy and relish the stories of others–even just as a spectator.