An interview with nonfiction author Todd Bristol

By Todd Bristol

At 66 pages, nonfiction author Todd Bristol’s book From the Bottom Up: A Leadership Perspective is a quick read, but it’s also packed full of life. He uses plenty of personal experiences to describe how he thinks leadership should work. There are two ideas contained in this book that I particularly liked:
  1. People don’t need to be in leadership positions to be leaders
  2. Natural leaders can live happy lives even when they’re not in the best work environments

Last week, I was able to ask Todd Bristol some questions. Here they are, along with his responses:

Tell me a little bit about your book, From the Bottom Up: A Leadership Perspective: From the Bottom Up is probably one of the few leadership books written by a non-professional organizational speaker/professor.  It contains real-life examples, real-life ways people are treated at work, and how to deal with it and make life better.  That’s one comment I always hear from people, “Hey, that happened to me.”  I want others to know they are not alone, and work-life can improve, and you don’t need a degree in organizational behavior to do it.
What has been the most challenging part about writing and publishing this book so far, and by the same token, what has been the most rewarding piece of this experience? The most challenging has been the editing.  It always seems like there is one more thing to change…and then, of course, that throws off your table of contents and index, so you start the rounds all over again.  (Very big sigh of frustration!)

The most rewarding part of this project has been working with my wife.  She was my sounding board, contributed ideas and an example or two, and did the editing.  I’d like to say we never got frustrated with each other or shot each other dirty looks, but we did.  Together, though, we’ve learned to communicate better and get to know each other (even to start to understand how we think as individuals).

As a writer, what is the best investment you’ve ever made? Certain software or a new computer? A writer’s conference? A book cover? Or something else? My wife…she played interception with the children numerous times so I could type.  Others have certainly helped along the way though.  One particularly helpful person was David Farland.  I actually went to an excellent writing conference he put on and learned a lot about a novel I had written.  Turns out that novel had some fatal flaws.  When my wife and I had some one-on-one time with David Farland, I told him about this book idea.  He was excited and encouraging and gave me several ideas of how to write and market it.

 What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?
Cut, cut, cut.  Don’t get so attached to your own words that you can’t improve by getting rid of some of them.  Pride in what you’ve done only keeps you from getting better.  Never be afraid of scrapping it all and starting over (think fatally-flawed novel here).
 What advice would you give to someone who’s considering becoming a writer?
Stop considering and start writing.  Or, stop considering and do something else.  Just quit ‘considering’.
If there’s anything else you’d like to share, please share it here:
I hope you enjoy the book!
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