Jack of Many Trades

The Path of the Protagonist

Originally posted: 2012-12-30

“Fantasy and reality often overlap.” - Walt Disney

The Path of the Protagonist is about taking control of your own life. There are many roles and archetypes out there - Hero, Sidekick, Love Interest, Villain, Teacher, Evil Overlord. The Hero is the one most people think of when they think of the Protagonist, but that's not actually the case. In fact, books where the protagonist is a known Villain were all the rage a couple of years ago - see also: Wicked - and I've seen fantasy authors take on most of the others at various times as well.

As a protagonist, or someone learning to be a protagonist, this year's goal is to be unapologetically in charge of the story of my life. That means prioritizing what's important to me, not what I feel should be important or what other people think is important. It means taking care of myself. It means exploring the symbols that repeat over and over in my life, and working with those spirits that have asked for my time and attention.

The thing about those symbols, I believe, is that they show up for a reason. If something shows up repeatedly in my life, resonates to the point that it makes my heart sing, then there's something to learn there. There's a story to be told.

At this point, I've spent enough time turning my spiritual journeys into fiction and using fiction to work through thoughts and ideas that I couldn't articulate any other way that separating the two out would be nearly impossible. I don't think I could separate what I knew as a child from what I've read and written in the meantime.

I also don't think it's necessary. Sure, there are pagans and magicians who talk as if they don't know the difference between how magic works in fantasy novels and how it works here. But I know I can't cast Magic Missle, and more importantly, that's not what I'm trying to do. It's about understanding Wyrd through The Thread That Binds the Bones, or the elements via My Little Pony, or whatever works for you.

I'm sure I'll spend most of the year refining the idea and coming back to it. Maybe next December I'll see if I have anything more poetic to say on the subject.