As you probably know, I wrote a book a few years ago called, Views from the 13th Floor: Conversations with My Mentor. The book was a non-fiction book based on my visits with Rhonda Shasteen, the Chief Marketing Officer (now retired) of Mary Kay. The entire experience was beautiful and got me hooked on writing. Now, I'm exploring writing a fiction book and decided to take some classes at Southern Methodist University in Dallas called The Writer's Path. It is an adult learning program that helps people who want to write books and learn their creative process byteaching them fundamental skills.
As part of the program, we spend a lot of time discussing character and plot development. We study an outline of stories called the hero's journey in a book by Christopher Vogler called The Writer's Journey. I found the hero's journey interesting because it simplified the writing process. It takes a lot of questions out of the high level process a character goes through in the story.
It begins with a call to adventure, a refusal of the call, acceptance, and engaging in the adventure by crossing the threshold. Then there are tests, enemies and allies, the ordeal and the elixir.
When I read the hero's journey for a fictional character, I saw how it could often be applied to my own life. I have many times been presented with a challenge that I did not want to face, but eventually did. It often presented tough times, and friends who supported me. Then at the end of it all, I've learned many lessons and often feel that I'm a better person. This is the elixir in it all.
If you haven't read my personal story of perseverance and overcoming, it falls right into a hero's journey, only I didn't choose to take the call to adventure. The call chose me, and at the end there is still an elixir. I can't change the past, but I will always be glad to have the knowledge and wisdom I gained as a result of my journey.
I hope you can find the journeys in your life, too, because you can!