Personal Reflections On The Hero’s Journey

I write. I write because I must. Sometimes I write my novels. Sometimes I write short stories. Sometimes I write in my personal journal. Sometimes I simply write in my own mind, observing the world–wondering how it works, watching people, analyzing my own actions and my reactions to others and then taking mental notes. I write to remember.

After a story hooks the reader well enough that they turn the page, it is the plot and the characters that keep them reading. As the protagonist progresses through the story, the reader is expecting something: The hero must win. If nothing else, the hero must learn something and become a better person because of it.

There is a writing technique for plot development called The Hero’s Journey. You can read about the basics of this using this technique in your writing here at Jordan McCollum’s blog. An ordinary world, a call to adventure, reluctance to accept the call, mentors, tests and trials, setbacks, etc. are all part of the journey. In the end, the Hero must succeed.

Today is Sunday. For me, a day of personal reflection and worship. A day when I take the family to church, partake of the Sacrament, learn, serve, and spend time with family. And right now I wonder if I am in the belly of the whale, or in the cave facing my darkest demons. Or, it may just be a bump in the road. My friends would most certainly call it a mid-life crisis. But a mid-life crisis which has lasted two years? Or has it been five years? Am I at the point of transformation?

Do you ever wonder if you will be the hero? I wonder about myself. Where am I on the Hero’s Journey? Am I on the right track?

Make no mistake, I consider myself very, very blessed. I have had fantastic opportunities in my life. I have a wonderful family. I love my wife, my kids, my grand-daughter, my parents, grand-parents… all of my family. I live in a nice home. I have a job (there are MANY who don’t have that right now). I have food to eat, clothes to wear. And yet…I struggle.

I struggle because I want to be the hero.

There is a fire that burns within me. It makes me wish for a successful journey–to protect my family, to slay the dragon, to return with the magic elixir of life. To conquer. To receive Atonement.

I am so glad it is Sunday.

As you go through this week, think about your own Hero’s Journey. Where are you on the path? Will you come off conqueror?

What will be your story?

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Personal Reflections On The Hero’s Journey — 6 Comments

  1. Excellent post. I’ve never seen that little diagram before, but I like it!

    *must cram more info into my brain*

    Happy writing with all your heroes, Daron.

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  3. Too often, we feel that to be the hero requires measurable success in this life. Own a huge house, make our first million, become president of a large corporation. Remember that, in the end we can all be the Hero because of Christ. Sometimes our hero quest is simply to raise a wonderful family that will continue on after we are gone. But because of Christ, we can have the hope of eternal life. If that isn’t a hero’s reward, I don’t know what is.

  4. How peculiar that we would both select the topic of “hero” this weekend. When exactly does the 21st century male feel like a hero? What challenge, temptation or experience conquered qualifies as heroic within the diagram you’ve provided? I am content to have a hero who kills the spiders, tosses the dead birds in the trash or gruffly dismisses the door-to-door salesman.

    You’re on the hero’s journey Daron. I suggest that you have reached the “Gift of the Goddess” and are again looking for a great adventure. The best part about middle age, is that the worst is behind you. It’s a lot the difference between Sean Connery in James Bond and Sean Connery in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The polished patina of the years shows in his later work.

    You, Daron, are in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

  5. If the hero *knew* he was the hero, the story wouldn’t be as interesting! The writer may know how the story turns out, but the struggle of the characters and their uncertainty about the outcome is what makes heroic sagas so memorable. Good post.

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