When Scary Met Exciting. How I Became a Published Author

EP004 with Elijah Lawal & Alison O'Leary

Do you have a book in you?

Have you ever dreamt of writing a book and becoming a published author?

Many have, but get derailed by a lack of professional writing experience, confusion over where to start, the deflation of rejections, and the belief that it’s simply not possible.

It’s easy to succumb to the perceived barriers and limitations that our minds and “accepted wisdom” throw up in response to this goal, so in this episode, I invite Elijah Lawal to share how he went from defining his goal to become a published author, to making that dream a reality.

You’ll hear insights from Elijah on how he approached his writing; his tips on the practical process of pitching and finding an agent; how he dealt with rejections; and his lessons learned on the journey to getting published.

In this episode we discuss

  • Elijah’s starting point, where he wasn’t hitting his full potential
  • How Elijah got clear on his writing goal
  • The steps Elijah took to focus on and immerse himself in writing, when he still had a day job
  • How, and why, Elijah didn’t follow a formula for his writing
  • How he tried to garner interest from agents
  • The specific process Elijah used for dealing with rejection
  • How he maximised every agent opportunity
  • The valuable lessons Elijah learned from going through the process of becoming a published author

Quick ref to resources or links we mention

In this episode we have referred to Elijah’s book: “The Clapback. Your Guide to Calling Out Racist Stereotypes.” You can buy the book at all major UK and European bookstores and on Amazon.

A bit more about Elijah Lawal

EP004 Guest Elijah Lawal

Elijah is a British Nigerian published author and screenwriter based in San Francisco. In 2019, his first non-fiction book, The Clapback: Your Guide to Calling out Racist Stereotypes, was published by Hodder & Stoughton. It was well received, and led to lots of media coverage, and as a result, Elijah was recognised as one of the top 30 Black authors by the Black British Business Awards.

Elijah’s day job is as a Communications and Public Affairs Manager for Google, and he also sits on the leadership team of the Black Writers Guild, an organisation aimed at working with publishers to ensure meaningful and purposeful change in making the industry more inclusive at all levels.

If you would like to know more about Elijah or would like to connect with him, please do look him up on LinkedIn.

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