There’s a moment in the hero’s journey that people sometimes forget. It’s called the first threshold.
I’ve observed that change of any sort is a hero (or heroine’s) journey. You commit yourself to losing weight, learning how to tango, quit smoking, make art…. In big and small ways, we are attempting to leave our old familiar selves behind.
So if you Google “hero’s journey” you’ll find out that the first threshold is the point of no return for Luke Skywalker or Bilbo Baggins or whoever (you/me). You’re really gonna do this thing! You’re burning the boats, so to speak! But in all the search results, you might have overlooked the references to the threshold guardian.
In the action adventure story, the threshold guardian is especially important for moving the plot along and keeping moviegoers in their seats. It might be something exciting like, say, … a dragon.
In our personal journeys, let’s face it, it’s just a pain in the bum. It’s the thing that makes you question why you ever wanted to do this dance/art/healthy living thing in the first place. It’s the force that will test our commitment and desire for whatever it is that is sending us on our journey instead of staying in our comfy reading chair in the Shire otherwise known as the status quo..
My dragon comes in the form of my inner wet blanket who says, Why are you doing this again? Why would anyone care? You know there are a hundred million artists and illustrators… not to mention bloggers, creativity coaches, urban sketchers etcetera in the world already, right? What, exactly, are you doing anyway? Whatever it is, you know it’s already been done. And of course, is this even any good?
It’s a familiar foe, that one: fear.
Why am I sharing all this? Because I’m a geek. And because I’m trying to talk myself back on the horse to slay the dragon.
A friend of mine once told me, there’s nothing like action to give fear the middle finger.
So despite the internal snorting and puffs of smoke, I’m just going to keep making art every day.