Finding the Hero's Journey in Your Life
What makes you more excited to do something than when someone makes the task sound so grand, so exciting, such an adventure you can’t put it down? For writers like me, there are very few things that get us more excited than that. That’s why A Hero’s Journey by Jeff Sandefer and Rev. Robert Sirico was a perfect match. This book will help you have the right mindset, the right attitude, and the spirit of adventure about your writing ventures.
The book is broken up into parts. Parts writers like me know well. The parts of a hero’s journey: a class writing troupe used in pretty much every good book written in the last century or so – wither the writer knew it or not. Most any story can fit into these parts: call to adventure, departing, difficulties, learning to rely on oneself, transformation, and returning to society. This book names each of these differently in a way that fits the story of what most of us upstart writers will have on our writing adventures. They call these steps: the first step, who am I and what do I want to be, setting guardrails, companions on the journey, stones in the road, the giant of despair, rest, fighting the dragon, and coming home. All of which fit nicely into one or more of the steps that it’s near on the journey.
And it illustrates the importance of each part not just by explaining their thoughts, but they do us one better than that. They illustrate these points by telling stories. What want to be full-time author can’t relate to that? And rereading this book brings new incite every time because of it’s storytelling method. I really enjoyed the collections they picked. They used everything from fables, famous speeches, fairytales, Bible quotes, snippets from great books, and more.
I found each one helpful on my journey as I build my writing buisness. It helps me keep the right mindset.
The section I enjoyed most was stones in the road. My guess is that’s because that’s where I am on my adventure. I know who and why I’m doing what I’m doing. I have a team built and as always still working on it, and I’ve set my guardrails. So currently, my journey is working on getting around the rocks in the road and removing them as I go. There’s a lot at the start of your journey to face, and I suspect a dragon may rear his ugly head soon.
Those two sections were my favorite likely for those reasons, but all the sections were great. I loved their used of stories to help us learn. The ones I liked best were the fairytales and book snippets. I liked the parts from The Pilgrims Progress (A great book to read about hero’s journeys by the way) and other books, and the fairytales and fables. Though that is surely because that’s my writing nitch are fables, fairytales, and myths.
To give an example of how much this book can affect you, let me tell you about my experience with the most striking story. It was The Stone in the Road by Sarah Arnold. In the story, a rich man has looked after the local village his whole life. He loved them dearly, but the people were slightly resentful of the man’s riches when they were not also rich. But he couldn’t help them become rich because they did not love to work. He couldn’t help them learn to make their own wealth. Out of worry for them, he decided to set up a small trial. He put a large rock in the main road and laid in wait to see what would happen. Several people passed the stone, complaining it was there and went around which disappointed the rich man. At night fall, a young miller boy came by and saw the rock. The boy thought to himself that it was almost dark and someone behind him may not see the rock and hurt themselves. So with much effort, the young man removed the rock from the road to find a treasure underneath. On top of it was a note saying, “This treasure belongs to the one who moves this stone!” Both boys went home with happiness in their hearts. The rich man knew that that treasure would go to help the boy because he found one willing to work hard and use the tools wisely. (Sandefer and Sirico 72-73)
This story struck me for a few reasons. One, I just loved the aspect of the two main characters of the rich man and the miller boy. But it also helped me have better perspective on my own rocks in the road. I shouldn’t just try to work around them, but with them in order to grow. I’ve already tried to do that, and I’ve found my working toward removing not just getting around the obstacle has already helped me press forward.
And that’s exactly what this book is designed to do. Use stories to help us learn about our own journey. I highly recommend it for any authorprenuer! It has helped me and helps my learning style perfectly. It’s a book I plan to reread every year to help get my mind on the proper track for that year’s successes and struggles.