I am delighted to introduce you to Clive, our first Blogger in the new Interview series:
Meet Clive Pilcher from Take it Easy
All about your BLOG: Tell us about your lovely BLOG.
- What is the name of your blog and how did you decide on your blog name?
My blog was originally the very original ‘Clive’s Blog’ but I decided to change the name when I retired, to reflect my new status in life. ‘Take It Easy’ seemed to fit this, and it’s taken from a song you may know.
- What prompted you to start on this blogging journey?
I was off work for nearly ten months in 2011/12 with depression, and part of my rehab when I went back was to take a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). My counselor set me writing tasks as part of this, to record my thoughts and feelings, and it was his suggestion that I turn these into a blog, as he said my writing was ‘inspirational’ and would help others. This is how I started, in late 2012. Those first posts are under the ‘My Story’ tab in the menu at the top of my blog, and give people a good idea of why I began.
- To date, what blogging achievement/s are you most proud of?
I don’t think I’ve any real achievements to speak of. I received several blogging awards in the first year or two, but I’ve removed the badges from my site – they felt like bragging, and that isn’t really me. My sense of achievement is from the many interactions I’ve had with people who have read my posts – particularly the ones relating to mental health – and who tell me that my writing has helped them in some way.
- How would you describe your own blogging style?
Open and honest, there’s no point in doing it any other way. I also pride myself on writing to a good standard of English – I do, after all, have a degree in English Literature! I like to think that what I post has some semblance of form and structure, to make it easy to follow.
- What excites you most about blogging?
The thought that I can post something into the ether and it can be read by anyone in the world, providing of course that they have an internet connection! I don’t have a massive regular following but it is always good to meet new bloggers who pick up my posts.
- What platform do you use and why?
I use WordPress. I have one of their free accounts, and this has given me all that I’ve needed. I’m not a professional blogger, I don’t do this for money, so it’s good to enjoy my hobby for free! I kind of stumbled into the WordPress platform, as I knew nothing about blogging before I started – I just googled ‘blogging platforms’ and chose from those I saw. I’m very happy with it, and see no point in changing.
- What genre/topic/theme do you blog about? Do you ever deviate from that theme?
As I said, I began writing about depression and mental health. I followed that with a series I called ‘Dates To Note,’ which was intended to raise awareness of a range of health and social issues. I’ve since widened into more general thoughts, often along the theme of how times change and, in particular, on music, which has always been an important part of my life. I do return to mental health issues too, as this is very much something that matters to me. Really, I guess I just ramble on about anything that takes my fancy!
- How often do you blog per week or month?
I don’t blog to any set pattern, I’m not that organized! On average I probably post a couple of times a month, sometimes more and sometimes less. I occasionally take breaks, if there’s nothing I want to write about – the longest of these was seven months!
- Do you have any wisdom or tip/s regarding blogging to share with us?
I wouldn’t presume to think I could advise people! All I would say is that, whatever you write about, be sure that it is something you care about. Be yourself, be natural, and your enthusiasm will show through. There’s nothing worse for me than reading something written because the author feels they had to write something – anything – to keep to a schedule when they really don’t have anything to say.
- Do you participate in linkup parties? How do you feel about it?
I’ve done a couple of them, but I’m not sure they are for me. The one that has grabbed my attention is the Senior Salon, which was created by Bernadette for writers ‘of a certain age’ and which you have recently taken over. I’ve met a number of good blogging friends through this, and look forward to finding more as it develops.
All about YOU: Tell us something about you, the real YOU.
- What do you like to do other than blogging?
I read a lot, mostly newspapers and magazines. I should read many more books than I do! I also watch a lot of sport on tv, especially football (i.e. soccer) and cricket. I spend a lot of time with tech, too: I’m addicted to my iPad and computer!
- Where do you reside?
I live in a small town (pop. 12000-ish) called Epping, in the UK. It’s about 20 miles from London, but is much slower paced than the big city. It’s a town with a long history and a very pleasant place to live.
- Are you an indoor or outdoor person?
On balance I’m an indoors person. I do enjoy going to live sporting events and to live music shows, but I have a long-term health condition which restricts my movement. It’s frustrating, but I don’t let it get me down. There’s always the balcony to my flat, where I can enjoy the good weather – if we ever get any!
- Do you still work, and if so, what is your trade/profession?
- Or are you retired? If so, what do you do besides blogging?
It feels easier to take these two together. I retired in September 2013, when I reached the grand old age of 60. Prior to that I had for twenty years been a manager in our National Health Service – I had many jobs in that time, but a recurring theme of these was working with our clinicians to help develop new services. As to what I do apart from blogging, please see answer 1 in this section!
- Do you wish to be 20-something or the age you are now and why?
It would be great to be young again, with all the dreams and expectations of youth, but I’m happy the way I am now. We get a little older every day – that’s a fact of life we can’t change! Not having to work for a living is a huge bonus, too.
- What makes your day a good and happy one?
Doing the things I enjoy, the comforts of a relaxed lifestyle.
- Describe yourself in 3 words.
Short, content, easy-going.
- Share with us 3 interesting facts about yourself.
– I’ve been divorced and living on my own for 10 years, but have two beautiful daughters from the marriage – I love them both to bits!
– I was born and brought up by the coast but never learned to swim – I was afraid of the water!
– I’m an awful cook!
- Do you have any other tidbits to share with us about yourself?
My older daughter is expecting a baby at the end of May, so I’m going to be a grandfather. I’m so excited! There may be a mention of this on my blog at some point
Last but not least:
- Please share with us your social media links, in order for our readers to follow you!