Heart of Character

A very fine question has been posed of me, which I shall duly attempt to answer - why am I so committed to my careers work?

The easy response is that there's little more important in all our lives, in my view, than to do our best to help the next generation.

The tougher answer goes to the heart of character, which is why it's such a powerful and impressive question.

Before we go on, a quick visual interlude of me at St James School in Exeter, talking about the importance of hard work in finding a good career, during a prizegiving evening.

Simon St James school 1.jpg

The reason I'm so committed to careers work is because of the impact other people's efforts had on my past and indeed present. And it was so very profound that it's made its way to the heart of my character.

When I was at school, I wasn't a great kid, to say the least - always in trouble, being disruptive, I was suspended and excluded a few times.  I doubt you're surprised by that?

But then came the intervention of a couple of fantastic and inspirational teachers, who more or less told me - you've got talent and potential.  Go and use it or forever regret it.

It was such a formative experience that I've never forgotten it and will always be hugely grateful.  It was that, I think, which made me so determined to help young people in the sort of way that I, myself, was once helped.

Just a few minutes, a few words, can have such an impact, as they did on me.

Go on then, as you're doubtless so keen, have one more shot of me in action, as it were -

Simon St james school 2.jpg

I don't just include these pictures to scare you - I get the sense from them that I'm talking with passion.

And that's the heart of character, which we scribblers aim to find when creating people to feature in our books. If you can get that deep into someone, understand the fundamentals of what makes them tick, then you're well on the way to finding a living and convincing character.

And that's where the careers work sits in mine.