Raise your hand if you’re guilty of putting “start my book” on your #goals list for the past three years. Now that we have more time than we can count during quarantine season, why not start tuh-day! We sat down (virtually, of course) with best-selling author Princess Lomax to get some tips to get you started.
Nurse practitioner, sports bar owner, doctoral student, philanthropist and author are just some of the accolades that come to mind when we think of P. Lomax. To the outside world, “she is destined & determined to win in all aspects of life all while inspiring others to do the same!”
Tip 1: Don’t overthink it. We think we know what we want to write about and spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to start. Many times, what we should be writing about is right in front of our face.
I always thought my first book would be about my life—how I grew up, where I started, where I am now—but I started getting a lot of questions from nurses and others in the field that wanted to know how I was making as much money as I was as a nurse. “What are you doing? How’d you get started? What areas did you go into? Where should I go in my career so that I can make more money?” I was always on the phone, texting or DMing nurses with advice, so I finally decided to put it all in a book.
Tip 2: Take some time to figure out why you’re procrastinating. Is it your content? Is it the way you’re presenting your ideas? Is your voice lost in all the words?
When I first started writing the book, I was all over the place. I would start. I would stop. Then start again. Finally, I thought it through and realized I wanted the book to be relatable, keep the reader interested and be an easy read. I didn’t want it to be long and drawn out, so I started sticking to the down and dirty—only the facts, main points and tips. This process worked better for me because otherwise my book would have been twice as long and it would have been a book that nobody wanted to finish reading.
Tip 3: Write for your audience but be prepared for your writing to go beyond them.
I experienced a few surprises during my journey as an author. First, while writing, I realized I was elevating myself. I didn’t think about how sharing my career journey with fellow nurses would empower me once I wrote it all down. Secondly, after my book was released, I had so many people not in the nursing field tell me they read my book, applied the steps in their chosen profession and were able to make more money. Lastly, I also had people who read my book that shared with me that either they once considered nursing or never thought about being a nurse, but were inspired by my book so much that they went on to nursing school.
Tip 4: Self-publishing is worth it. Publishing companies can be useful if you choose that route but be sure to do research and interview your publisher thoroughly.
I was burned by the publishing company I started with and lost so much money. When I decided to do it myself, I realized how easy it was. Now, I advocate for self-publishing all the time. Google is your friend. Just about everything you need, including an ISBN, is free. For your first book, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay a publisher when self-publishing will only cost you your time.
Tip 5: Have a network of writers and readers. Get a writing mentor, if possible.
I had someone who provided me with guidance before and during my writing process (she told me to self-publish and I learned the hard way that she was right). I also had a few friends, who live and breathe reading and writing for their jobs, proofread my book and provide feedback.
Tip 6: Never give up on yourself.
Keep God first and never give up. Bet on yourself. We often give ourselves to other people, places and things, but when writing, allow yourself the grace of “me time”.
We hope these tips were helpful and that you come out the ‘rona with a new book for the world. We can’t wait to read it!
To learn more about P.Lomax, visit her website.