Broken Pieces

Author Interview – Justin Blaney

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What scares you the most?

Being inefficient and wasting time are my biggest fears. For example, when I’m going on a trip, if I have a predetermined purpose such as filming for a paying client, I never feel any nervousness about the trip. However, when I’m flying somewhere without a clear purpose, or marketing to new clients, I feel sick to my stomach because I’m worried to leave my family and spend all that time and money on the trip when nothing may come from it. Mostly, I’m worried that I’ll waste those few days when I could have spent them on something more productive. It’s sort of a strange sickness that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but the positive side is that I’m very driven and probably would not have gotten as much done in my life if I didn’t have this fear.

What makes you happiest?

I live in Seattle so sunny days make me pretty dang happy. But really, lots of things make me happy. I love spending time with my family, traveling, talking with friends, helping great nonprofits and businesses tell their stories through video, and of course, writing. When it comes specifically to writing, I’m happiest when I hear that I’ve connected with a reader, whether that’s on a deep emotional level, or just in sucking them into the world of my imagination for a few hours. One of my favorite compliments is when I hear that my stories are unique, because that is what I set out to create when I wrote Evan Burl and the Falling.

What’s your greatest character strength?

Well I only have one character strength, so that’s easy. :) But honestly, I think it’s hard to say because different strengths are needed at different times. A trait I’m very thankful for is that I am not easily angered, or at least, I don’t lose my temper. I’m sure that my wife and kids enjoy that trait. I think drive is another trait that has benefited me quite a bit over the years. I like getting things done. The problem is sometimes trying to relax.

What’s your weakest character trait?

Wow, how do I narrow them down? I care too much what people think of my work for one. It was really difficult learning to let go of the bad reviews, especially at first, but it’s gotten so much easier with practice. My drive, which is a great trait sometimes, is also one of my weakest. I really don’t know how to relax, which drives my wife crazy. I have a really bad habit of losing interest in things after a short time. I could go on, but don’t want to embarrass myself with the sheer quantity of negative aspects of my character :)

Why do you write?

I know I’m supposed to write for myself and I’m learning to do that. That’s the cool answer for writers at least. But I started to write because I knew I always wanted to write a book and I didn’t want all my dreams to just stay dreams. In other words, I did it to check that accomplishment off my very long list of things I want to do. As I got into writing and started hearing from people who read my work, I became hooked on positive feedback. It was such a rush to hear that someone liked what I had created. But I found that this was a short lived sensation (ironically, the negative feedback stayed with me a lot longer than the positive feedback). I’ve been writing for about 4 years pretty steadily and I can honestly say that I’m enjoying writing for me more than I ever have before. I care less what people think though it’s always nice to hear from fans. I have a feeling in a few more years I’ll be even closer to saying that the only reason I write is for me. I know when I don’t write I go a little insane (OK, my wife would say, a lot insane). So, in that sense, I’m writing for both me and my family so they don’t have to deal with my lunacy when I’m abstaining from the keyboard.

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