As we've mentioned here a few times, some artists make art to go into themselves and others make art to get out of themselves. (There are other reasons, but those are biggies.) Novelist Richard Russo wrote the cover story for this month's Harper's Magazine, "If I Were You." Like me, he writes to get out of himself. So I thought I'd share a few of his lines here: I came to storytelling late, and like many writers, painters, musicians, and other artists, I fell in love with the process long before I was any good at it. As an English major in college, I'd begun to understand why I'd always loved to read. Getting lost in a good story is an antidote to sel-consciousness. But writing stories, it turned out, was even more rewarding . . . . Deciding to become a writer had little to do with whether I might one day exhibit any talent. The activity was its own reward. I no longer felt quite so trapped. Yes, I'm me, I remember thinking. But for a time, I can also be you. He ends: Okay, granted, it's not possible to be somebody else. We're stuck with who we are. But this only means that when we pretend otherwise, both as readers and writers, we're playing a very important, very serious game. We can't be sombody else, but we have to try. I don't know (or care) how important or serious my game is, but Russo gets me. I write to escape, to put on other shoes, to let my imagination take me away. As he says, it's its own reward. Outside of laughing gas, I can't think of a better way than art (for me, mostly song writing and playing guitar) to forget about me for a while.