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From Life Lessons to the book: An Exclusive Interview with Dalton Blankinship

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Dalton “Dean” Blankinship hails from Oklahoma and holds a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences, as well as a master’s in Health & Human Performance: Health Promotions. Drawing heavily from his own life lessons and experiences, he penned the book, a true labor of love. As any author will attest, the journey of writing is a marathon, and Blankinship’s dedication shines through in his work. “Looking Inwards for a Better Life” serves as a call to action for those seeking deeper meaning in their lives. With personal stories interwoven with philosophical wisdom and actionable advice, Blankinship encourages readers to embrace their true selves and find their unique path in a world often preoccupied with superficial pursuits.

The Top Author had this opportunity to interview Dalton Blankinship to explore his authorship, approach towards writing, his inspiration and many other aspects of author mindset.

What inspired you to write “Looking Inwards for A Better Life,” and what key message do you hope readers will take away from it?

Dalton: I had a series of unfortunate events hit my life, and combined with my inability to get a job despite having two college degrees, it led me to write. I had a lot of pain and anger that I needed to get out, and I thought, why cry or hate when I can create? It was also a personal goal of mine, and I finally got it done, despite many hassles. I’m not trying to send a specific message, but I wanted to help readers make a difference in their own lives, no matter how small. The main tagline, I guess, would be that truth hurts, but honesty kills.

Can you share a personal experience that significantly influenced the themes and insights in your book?

Dalton: Losing my uncle devastated me for years. The process was slow, but I came to one conclusion: I didn’t just bury my uncle but my dad. He left this world right before I got my second degree, and I miss him dearly to this day. I thought I let him down, but that can’t be right since I drove him to his chemotherapy every time he needed it. He even said he couldn’t have made it without me. In the same way, he kept me sane in a world that was getting crazier.

How do you define ‘looking inwards,’ and why do you believe it is essential for achieving a better life?

Dalton: I believe it is the conscious effort to look deeper than where you are now and go beyond what is happening to you. It’s about taking the effort to evolve, to be more of yourself. It’s also about not listening to others and getting to the bottom of that feeling that says you’re enough.

What was your writing process like for this book? Did you face any challenges, and how did you overcome them?

Dalton: My main challenge was my mental state and trying to process my grief while putting it on the page. I also had to push most of my family away to have time to create, as they just held my book and me back.

How did you balance research, personal anecdotes, and practical advice while writing this book?

Dalton: The structure helped a lot. Each chapter starts with main points and research, then moves to exercises and examples. This approach made me more intentional with my chapters, allowing me to integrate practical advice with personal anecdotes.

Were there any unexpected discoveries or revelations during your writing journey that deeply impacted you or the direction of the book?

Dalton: The book started off much angrier and more ferocious. I felt cheated by everything in my life. But one of the brightest stars in my life went away and left a black hole where my heart was. I realized it was wrong to use my uncle’s memories as a weapon. Instead, I used them as a medium to help myself heal. I had to tear my own heart sinew by sinew in the book to show both the reader and myself that I had one.

Your book aims to help people go deeper and beyond their comprehension. Can you elaborate on what this means and how readers can achieve this?

Dalton: It is a call to action, to take action. We live in a world where niceness is cheap, hypocrisy is expensive, and kindness is priceless. I’m tired of all this “talk” and want people to find more of themselves, to go deeper into themselves instead of seeking validation outside. Our society thrives on insecurities and indecisiveness, and my book aims to help nip each in the bud.

Can you discuss a few practical techniques or exercises from the book that readers can start implementing immediately?

Dalton: The main exercises are at the beginning and end of my book. The first one is finding your cornerstone conundrum—identifying the main problem holding you back. It could be money, education, or some internal struggle, but getting to the bottom of it will help you rise to the top. The next one is to make an excuse to be where you want to be. People often want the easy way and just want to have it now, but life doesn’t work that way, not even remotely, and this makes people suffer.

Which chapter or section of the book is your favorite, and why?

Dalton: Chapter 8, “Embrace the Wolf Within.” It shows a turning point in my life and keeps me going. Knowing that I can do it again gives me strength.

Since the release of “Looking Inwards for A Better Life,” what kind of feedback have you received from readers?

Dalton: The main feedback is that the formatting is off, which can be fixed going forward. Also, some say I’m a bit rambling and trying to sound more like a warrior than a scholar for the next one, along with being more direct with my writings.

Have there been any surprising or particularly touching responses from readers about how the book has impacted their lives?

Dalton: One reader said, “Thank you for making this book,” which really warmed my heart. Another mentioned that it is a kind book, which is what I was aiming for.

How do you suggest readers integrate the principles of your book into their daily routines for long-term benefits?

Dalton: I’d say read the sections where you feel lacking in your personal journey and go from there. It doesn’t necessarily need to be read in order, but it helps to go from society to the individual in terms of theme. There are small exercises that can make a big difference in the long run—aim small, miss small was the underlying principle in my book.

What are your future plans as an author? Are there any upcoming projects or books in the pipeline?

Dalton: I’m writing a companion book, “Don’t Become Prey,” which is a more aggressive and philosophical side to my first book. I’m also working on a short-story/poetry collection that will be my first foray into fantasy.

How do you see the genre of self-help evolving, and what role do you envision your work playing in this landscape?

Dalton: I see self-help becoming more individualized, not focused on some generic cookie-cutter format. The main point is being honest and true to oneself. I hate all the talk without enough self-help. A bigger point is to know when you’re enough and to have fun learning.

Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write impactful and meaningful self-help books?

Dalton: Find what keeps you up at night, what makes you jump out of bed, and dedicate every morsel of food and every hour to making your life the best it can be. Then, expand that feeling outward to rally others to live their best lives.

Thank you for taking the time to share your inspiring journey and insights with us. Your wisdom and experiences have truly enriched our understanding of “Looking Inwards for a Better Life.” We appreciate your dedication and the meaningful impact your work has on readers.

The Top Author celebrates authorship by exploring the author’s mindset, writing approach, and several ‘whys’ behind the book. Read more author interviews here.

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