"I passionately believe that every human being is a hero, and all of these things are part of the hero’s journey—even the struggle to come back to the Self. Every hero is a hero because he or she has faced the “monster” no one else had the courage to face. All the old stories, all the roles, all the self-talk, all the feelings of fear, anger, blame and loss—these are the monsters. And when we face them and come out the other side with the wisdom that only a true hero knows, we find the elixir that makes our lives, and the lives of those around us, truly magical."
— Lynn Serafinn, author of The Seven Graces of Marketing
I listened to Lynn’s presentation during a recent NAMW tele-summit. (By the way, the National Association of Memoir Writers is a great resource for writers!) Her philosophy about marketing — as a way of sharing information and helping others, as opposed to selling— made sense.
I was most impressed with Lynn’s analogy about heroes, quests, and elixirs. As writers, she says, we are the heroes of our own stories. We go on a quest, whether to find a magical ring, a sword, or whatever, to save our family, our community, or our own lives, OR to find answers, peace and acceptance for past or present emotional injuries. Along the way, we encounter and conquer all manner of monsters: revisiting those memories, thinking our stories are not worth telling, and fears of upsetting loved ones. Once we get through it and reach our goal, discover the truth, and begin to heal, we feel compelled to share our new-found wisdom — our elixir — with others.
Those of us who write do so for a reason. Trust me, it’s not about the ever-illusive reward of fame and fortune. If it were, we’d be working on the next blockbuster mystery novel instead of our personal stories! Usually we are drawn to make sense of our lives, scribbling in journals or pounding the keyboard in an effort to conquer our own demons, which can only come from re-experiencing our darkest memories. If we’re lucky, we get there, or sometimes only part-way there, because deep trauma never truly goes away.
And if we’re really lucky, we get to a point where we feel we can share what we’ve learned, with the hope of making a difference in others’ lives.
Our true reward is learning that someone else has read and related to our story. That we’ve provided a level of understanding, a desire to heal, and a guide for doing so.
Not everyone who reads my book will write their own story. But I love when I hear from those who feel inspired to begin the journey, the quest — whether it’s writing or seeking peace.