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The Pursuit Of Kindness- Giles Paley -Phillips

Author and co-creator of ‘Blank’ Podcast. House Of Influence spoke with Giles Payley- Philips author on his career, those ‘blank moments’ and his incredible efforts on social media, to make the platforms a kinder place.

Giles on where it started:

‘I was never very good in school, not academic in any way, I liked sports, but not a lot else, so struggled with my GCSEs and I ended up at college doing retakes, it was here that I met a couple of like-minded people who wanted to start a band, I took up learning the guitar and we started performing and writing songs together, this was my first venture into creating, writing songs and lyrics was so exciting, fast forward a few years, some touring, a slot at Glastonbury and two Eps released, the band broke up and while feeling a little lost creatively, my wife and I were expecting our first child and I felt a strong compulsion to write a story that we would be able to read to him. This form of writing didn’t come naturally to me, but I kept persevering and one day whilst looking around for some inspiration in a charity book shop, I came across a book by the writer Shel Silverstein called A light in the Attic, a book of nonsense poems and illustrations, I started to read it and it blew me away, a load of ideas started to flood in and I can honestly say I’ve never looked back. I’ve now had 12 books published!’

Giles on those Blank moments:

‘Blank Podcast came about during a difficult period whilst writing a book, I just couldn’t crack on with it, so I reached out to my friend and comedian Jim Daly to see if we could work on a podcast where we discuss these kinds of moments with well-known people, he mentioned he was having a similar experience about getting back on stage to do stand-up, that he’s got the fear, so it felt like we were onto something and as soon as we started talking to our guests, many of whom are huge heroes of ours it became apparent that everyone has these moments, even the most successful people in the world experience blank/difficult moments during their lives and careers.’

Giles on social media and keeping it kind:

‘Social media has become increasingly noisy and vitriolic in recent years, binary discussions around politics, in particular, have caused extremely angry and fraught interactions, that on top of the general trolling and nastiness that we see I felt compelled to model and promote kindness and compassion as often as possible, it’s always been something that has been important to me, even from a young age and in general I’ve had such a good experience on social media and connected with so many wonderful people, I really want others to see what an amazing place it can be when used in a more positive way.’

Follow Giles on socials here, to keep up to date with ‘Blank’ podcast, the books and also the kindness train!

Artwork by Karis Simms