All this week Matilda Butler of Women’s Memoirs blog fame


will be guest blogging at the online writing forum She Writes


Her theme is the perennially intriguing topic of the Heroine’s Journey, based upon the work of Joseph Campbell.

To illustrate and personalize the Journey, Matilda has called upon the author Gail Straub to talk a little about the corresponding phases as they played themselves out in her latest book, a memoir about her relationship with her mother, Returning to My Mother’s House: Taking Back the Wisdom of the Feminine.

Today she begins her Journey with Phase One: The Call.

The following is a quote from She Writes:

The writer Joseph Campbell described the mythic journey in this way:

“A heroine ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the heroine comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on her fellow journeyers.” Adapted from Joseph Campbell quote (Introduction to The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work, p, xix)

But in order to bestow the boons of a memoir on our fellow journeyers, we really do have to pass through all five phases. This applies if you want to publish your work, as well as if you write for your family and friends, because writing a life story is a profound act of courage and restitution. And it is not for the faint hearted because at the heart of good writing is that tough task-master, the Truth-teller.

After reading the blog post on She Writes, turn to Matilda’s blog here, where you will find a full description of the steps of the entire journey, along with a couple of memoir writing prompts to encourage you to begin your own mythic writing journey.

I’m packing my bags even as I write. Want to join me?