We had the good fortune of connecting with Tonya Todd and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tonya, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
My first instinct is to say never give up, that there is no time to quit. Anything worth achieving is also worth the battle to achieve it.

But in truth, the artistic journey isn’t for all artists. There are a thousand nos for every yes. There are self-doubts. There are people who don’t want you to succeed. All of these weigh on you.

So for me, I’d say I know to keep going until the joy of creating my art doesn’t outweigh the sting of what comes with the journey. For those who feel they’ve reached that point, I say try one more time. Jesmyn Ward offered me this advice, and it has led me to many successes that fuel me for the next round.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Whether I’m writing or acting, I function as a storyteller. No matter when, where, or how you live, stories bind us together. I aim to share work that evokes emotion, connects us as individuals, and depicts a fair representation of the many types of people in the world.

My creative non-fiction focuses on love. In 2020, my blog 52 Love offered bite-sized tips to improve intimacy within committed relationships. The following year, I hosted The 52 Love Podcast, taking each of these tips and field-testing them with a new guest each week. It was a wonderful journey. I am grateful for the positive response and candid participation. And even though I wrote the tips, when seeing how they translated to specific couples, I learned right along with my audience.

No part of this artistic journey has been easy, yet the benefits are immeasurable. My path has introduced me to outstanding organizations, amazing acquaintances, and fantastic friends. I started out just wanting to write stories, then I started acting in them, and now I’m producing content on my own and hosting spaces for others to share their work. By this time next year, I hope to add one or two Director credits to my resume. And if I can help others along the way, all the better for it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would steer clear of the city and take my friend to Red Rock for a scenic hike.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many to thank I could fill this entire box. Let me dedicate this to my Dynamite Darlings (my newsletter subscribers.) Henderson Writers Group (Gregory Kompes, in particular), and my handful of superfans who carried me through the most challenging parts of my journey.

Website: www.mstonyatodd.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mstonyatodd/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonya-todd-b05b1918a/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MsTonyaTodd

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mstonyatodd

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/The52LovePodcast

Other: http://imdb.me/TonyaTodd

Image Credits
Olga Filatova, Richard Mathis, John Tates III, JP Butler, Mike Burton

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