Yesterday I met up with Clay Lowe. This is a guy, who for me, is a living example of a generalist...
I’ve been a lot of things. I’ve been a soldier, jumping out of airplanes and blowing things up. I’ve been a financial consultant, selling stocks and bonds. I’ve been a manufacturing engineer, building generator excitation devices and motor control centers for steam and gas turbine engines. I’ve also been a training manager for a large bank, imparting knowledge and reducing barriers to help people be better at their jobs. And more recently, I’ve turned my hand to building my own personal coaching practice.
I would like to believe I am a good natured guy - pleasant, friendly, enthusiastic about life. You are just as likely to find me climbing a mountain as you are to find me with my reading in a book.
That's a life. That's a character. And what is interesting about Clay is that we met through the Scriptwriter's Life diagram - yet we also have many connections through the training and coaching world.
Meeting people like Clay is a challenge to my own writing of characters. He reminds me to constantly offer surprises and richness. That soldiers can keep intricate diary pages (as above) or that training managers can write poetry.
Perhaps most interesting to writers though is this fact. Clay uses The Hero's Journey pattern. Not just in his own writing - but in his own adventure training. That's right. He actually takes people out of the office, up a mountain and puts them through it. Now that's living your writing folks!
Still from Clay's diary.
Lastly, worth a mention, is his mini booklet on motivation available under Creative Commons licence here