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But is there a dark side to fantasy? I'm afraid the answer is yes. An overindulgence in fantasy can leave a person un-moored from the realities of life. And this can cause people to turn toward negative behaviors like addiction. By overindulging in fantasy I believe a person gradually replaces a foundation of empirical reality with one based on imagination. Instead of fantasy providing a frame of reference for reality, it becomes a false reality.
Unfortunately, I'm fairly certain I've witnessed a person traveling down this negative path. This experience is probably the reason why I haven't written much in recent days. It's hard when a person that you cherish and that you feel is composed of similar "DNA" to your own comes off the rails of life. Because of this, I've been doing a lot of soul searching to reassure myself that I'm not heading down a self-delusional path myself.
I've emerged from this recent "funk" with renewed confidence that a moderate indulgence in fantasy is indeed virtuous. But I also now have a direct understanding that overindulgence can be very dangerous. I'm still thinking about what impact these recent experiences will have on my fantasy writing. I've thought of a few things already--and they will be "baked" into Hemlock Book III (both consciously and unconsciously).
In the meantime, if you are a lover of fantasy like I am, just make sure to keep your feet on the ground while your head is in the clouds. Whatever your reality is--it's fundamentally OK. Even if you're in an adverse environment--it's best to accept that fact and chart a course toward better climes. Fantasy can help you chart that course, and to persevere while on your quest. Use it wisely and in moderation, and be careful out there.