I had a great opportunity, after being a preview reader, to ask a few questions of Todd Henry about some of the concepts in his newest book, "Louder Than Words".
Who is Todd Henry? Todd is the founder of Accidental Creative and "arms dealer of the creative revolution". Todd is one of my "virtual mentors" and his second book, "Die Empty" came at a time when I was on a journey to find my passion and his book helped me get there.
Why should you care about Todd Henry? He has written three books, and his newest, "Louder Than Words", is already an Amazon #1 New Release in Job Hunting & Career Guides. He knows what he is talking about in relation to creativity in the marketplace, and making a plan for businesses and individuals to share their authentic gift with the world.
What did I learn from Todd Henry? One of my favorite things he quotes, at the bottom of his website, is this: "Create fiercely, love well, and die empty." That about sums it up and tenets I live by.
If you are interested in learning more about finding your voice, check him out. Get his newest book right here. It's good. I know I'm going to have to read it more than once to absorb everything. And, make sure to go back and read his first two books, "The Accidental Creative" and "Die Empty". I would not have made it is this far on my journey without him.
Me: What is your personal manifesto, or elements of it?
TH: A few of the tenets that guide my life and work are “I create every day, even when I don’t feel like it”, and “I speak uncomfortable truth, even when it’s easier to appease.” I’ve had to remind myself of these multiple times with clients or while writing, because it’s so easy to acclimate to a place of comfort and forget the core, driving reason for the work, which is to impact lives.
Me: If you could distill the essence of this book down to one simple sentence, what you want people to get from it, what would that be?
TH: Develop an authentic voice so that you don’t spend your life building someone else’s body of work.
Me: I love that you use the word "excavation" in finding authenticity, because that is exactly what it is like. When the excavation gets hard, when it's down and dirty work, what is the one daily practice that keeps you the most grounded?
TH: I mentioned it before, but it’s definitely choosing to write every day even when I don’t feel like it. As someone who writes books, I know that if I don’t stay in practice then I will begin to atrophy. Writing is never easy for me, so I really have to make it a discipline. Another one is taking time each day to fill my mind with inspiring thoughts of others. I do this through study time, and through finding space to experience great art, film, and lectures. It’s been an absolutely invaluable aspect of my growth and development.
Me: In writing this book, what is one thing you learned about yourself that you did not expect?
TH: I learned that I’m often a terrible judge of the efficacy and quality of my own work. I’m in constant self-doubt as I’m writing, revising, and re-looking at research, and without people around me to help me stay calibrated, I would go down the rabbit hole pretty quickly. That’s why relationships, and having people in your life who will speak truth to you, are so critical in staying the course over the long-term. You can survive in the short-run, but without others keeping you aligned, you will eventually spin out.
As serendipity would have it, this week's email from Marie Forleo featured an interview with Todd, which expounds further on his book. If you do not know him, get to know him. But be careful, you just might find yourself becoming an accidental creative.