18 December 2018, Charlie A Raya
Why I chose to write the Easy Town story
When I had the idea to write down the Easy Town daydream, I flinched.
While the Easy Town idea originated in what happened to my friend Easy, the book series originated in a daydream. And usually, you keep daydreaming to yourself, no matter how useful it can be. Also, the story would only work if I didn’t change anything substantial about it. And that meant, revealing my past, my thoughts, even my demons instead of hiding behind a well researched and nicely polished thesis. This would be personal.
I like a good challenge and I’ve always had a somewhat reckless streak.
So, I thought, what of it? The ideas in the story are worthwhile
thinking about. And there are some issues that are more easily explored
in a story. So, why shouldn’t I publish a daydream that had never been
intended for the public eye? Well, why not?
Better write than do nothing
When I thought about writing the story, two more arguments in favour of publishing emerged. For one, yes, I would love to build an Easy Town experiment with different business and financing models, creating a place worthwhile living in and so on. But, I am just a single person. There is no way I could pull off something like this, and I don’t have the resources to set up a team which could. What I can do, however, is use my daydream to introduce the various ideas, and play through one fictional scenario of how such a town could come about, how it could be run, what sort of difficulties it could face, and how those difficulties might be resolved.
Playfulness and freedom of thought
addition, the story allows me to keep things light, and stick with the
playfulness which I believe to be essential for such a project. And, in
the story, I don’t have to observe any boundaries. I can bend and tweak
anything and see what happens if I do. Also, I can remove obstacles,
like financing, or finding a great team. By assuming that Alice gets all
the money and people she needs, I can focus on the actual concept for
the town. This allowed me to dig deeper and to address what might be the root of problems.
A story can inspire change
while I will feel embarrassed about one or the other part of the story,
I think the story is worth a little embarrassment. And, a story is a
good way to explore what might be possible.
So much creativity is used to create superheroes and alternative realities. Why not use our reality, and our common selfs in a story and see where we could go if we take nothing for granted, and nothing for irrevocable? Sometimes I think, it might be good to forget all we know. I am pretty sure, we’d be amazed what we could discover.
Apart from that …
The story is great fun. And, I wanted to keep it.
One more thing – or three
There are three writers who influenced my decision and my writing. Though, there are no parallels in our storytelling. First, Ian Rankin. I like how he writes and his writing encouraged me to relax, and find my own style without reference to anyone. Second, Haruki Murakami, whose work inspired me to pick up writing again. Third, and most importantly, Terry Pratchett. I don’t think I would have had the courage or the cheek to start writing the book series if I hadn’t read his books.