Sunday, March 3

The Writer's Journey: Writer As Hero

I'm in the middle of writing a series on the monomyth so I couldn't resist sharing this inspirational series of blogs about the writer as hero by Martina Boone (@MartinaABoone).

The Writer's Journey: Writer As Hero

Martina, rather than writing about the hero's journey per se, talks about the journey writers travel every time we tell a tale. She writes:
[T]he other day while I was on the phone with the brilliant Angela Ackerman ... I had a revelation. The journey the hero takes in our manuscripts is essentially the same journey many of us take as writers. (The Heroic Journey of Every Writer: Part One)
So here it is, a journey where the writer is the hero and his (or her) quest is to write a story. Martina writes:


Here we are, bumbling through our careers and family lives, vaguely uneasy and unfulfilled but maybe not even aware that there's a void inside us, a gaping wound. Why haven't we written yet? It could be that we tried and failed, or that we had to get on with the business of making a living, or raising kids, or maybe we have a family who has always dismissed writing as a pointless pursuit—something everyone wants to try but only a chosen few achieve. Implying, of course, that we're not good enough. So we shelve our illicit hopes, paint on a smile, and get on with our lives not realizing that something inside is tugging us in a different direction than the path we are still trudging down.


But then . . . Then we have a dream, or read a book, or see a movie, or witness an event that shakes us. Something stirs inside us, an elusive wisp of an idea scented with adventure. It begins to rise and pull us with it, beckoning us to come along, to put our own spin on the wheel of inspiration.


Of course we refuse. We're human. We're afraid. We don't have time, we don't have money, we don’t have the knowledge to pursue something as overwhelming as writing an actual book.

Or maybe we don't refuse. Maybe we take those first tentative stops, only to hear someone else, someone who means well, who doesn't want to see us hurt or disillusioned, make the refusal for us. For our own good. Because really, the idea of writing for publication is absurd, and we shouldn't have any expectations.
Martina goes on to recount a writer's trials and tribulations, his or her conflicts, as he or she travels through each stage of the monomyth; above, I've just given you the first three.

Here are the links to Martina Boone's articles (there are two in the series):

The Heroic Journey of Every Writer: Part One
The Heroic Journey of Every Writer: Part Two

Before I end this article, here is a link that's just too good not to pass on (thanks Martina!): Plotting Made Easy--The Complications Worksheet.

By the way, Martina has a wonderfully informative blog (Adventures In YA and Children's Publishing).

Other articles you might like:

- Hugo Gernsback And The Future That Might Have Been
- Writing And The Monomyth, Part Two
- How To Communicate Setting: Establishing Shots

Photo credit: "bridging knowledge to health" by paul bica under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.


  1. Thanks so much for the shout-out, Karen

  2. Thank you for writing about this. I'm a big fan of the Monomyth. I teach it every year to my freshman English students. I do a simplified version and just call it the Heroes Journey, which I tie into our class theme "Coming of Age".

    1. Hi Robert, you're welcome!

      I wish I had taken your course when I went to school, it would have saved me a LOT of time.


Because of the number of bots leaving spam I had to prevent anonymous posting. My apologies. I do appreciate each and every comment.