I hope you have enjoyed the reveals so far this week. What comes next is VERY excited. Now, however, I get to reveal something I’ve been working on for a while.
Three years ago, when I began toying with the idea of writing a fantasy book, I knew I had to do some research. I started following multiple blogs and watching hours and hours of videos on YouTube. One thing I ran into over and over was The Hero’s Journey.
The problem, though, is that very few of the blog posts or videos took a deep dive into any individual part of the journey. They almost always covered the whole journey or used the stages of the journey as a springboard into something else. So, I was intrigued but felt like my self-education was incomplete. So after I saw it often enough, I decided I needed to go to the source.
I picked up a copy of Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces from my local bookstore and read it and annotated it. It was a fascinating read. I can’t align myself with everything Campbell wrote and thought, but his work was still an inspirational look at storytelling from ancient times, particularly when he wrote about non-European cultures - which he did extensively.
Going back through the videos and blog posts I had seen before made much more sense after reading Hero with a Thousand Faces. However, I was still stuck with the problem of no one person taking a deep look at each individual step or even the major archetypes of The Hero’s Journey.
Consequently, I sought to solve my own problem. That is what I am presenting to you today. My super secret project #1 has been a series of podcasts dedicated to looking at The Hero’s Journey in stages through my own interpretations and uses. My ideas may not align with other thinkers on the subject, and that’s perfectly fine with me. This is about my relationship with the journey. And at times, my thoughts will diverge greatly from Campbell’s on the subject, especially with his thoughts on female heroes - which he dismissed quite famously.
Anyway, here’s the first episode. In it, I lay out my plan for looking at Campbell’s work, how I will build on it, and explain why I think The Hero’s Journey is still relevant to examine and think about in today’s modern world. Hope you enjoy!