Monthly Archives: July 2017

Define success and the little wins along the way

In my Facebook group, on Wednesdays, we celebrate our wins. As I was encouraging my members to boast about what they had done for their writing this week, I came to the realisation that all too often, we only celebrate when we reach our goal. This is true in every area of life.

It is true in weight loss. In business. In health. But the truth of the matter is, success is made my a thousand of sustained steps in the right direction. I believe it also includes the detours and the epic fails. So when we suspend our celebrations until we reach the finish line, we actually deprive ourselves of a string of smaller successes that are paramount to the overall goal.

So today, I want to invite you to look at your journey to success as a writer in a different way. I want you to see that sitting at your desk every day, even for ten minutes, is part of your success. I want you to realise that it is the consistency, the grind that is propelling you towards your overall success. Success is also being able to ask for a critique, taking it on board and making the changes that are necessary to improve your book. Success is overcoming those horrible feelings when the critique seems to slash your book and leaves you feeling like a failure. Success is also making your first selfie if visibility is an issue for you.

Do not wait until your book makes it to the NY best seller to feel successful as an author. Of all the people who claim that they want to write a book, 95% of them just love the idea of saying they have written a book. They are not actually willing to put the effort in. They are wannabe writers. If you are actually doing the work, if you sit down several times a week and put words on paper, if you sign up for classes to improve your craft, you are already way ahead of the game. Acknowledge that.

Seasoned writers often say that once they become that best selling author, they move the goal post of success and deny themselves the joy of celebrating because they immediately doubt as whether they can repeat that feat. This is the way the mind works. It never seems to be satisfied. If you don’t have a grounded vision of success, you will constantly beat yourself up about not having achieved the success of another author or not having achieved it as fast as someone else. This is not helpful. Stop now.

Success can just be completing your first draft. It is a massive achievement. An achievement that 95% of the people who say they want to write a book never accomplish.

When I work with a VIP client, I make sure they understand this and during our coaching sessions, I point out to them how much they have achieved so that they keep going. It is easy to start a book but finding the stamina to finish it can be a little harder. If you would like help to finish your book, why not work with me? Contact me through my page if you are interested and join my group. 

To your writing,

(c) Ange de Lumiere 2017

The power of vulnerability

Vulnerability is incredibly powerful. It is also super scary.

As authors, we need to be vulnerable. And when we start off, especially if we write a memoir, we use writing for healing. We bare our souls on the page. But then, we feel naked and horribly vulnerable. We start having doubts about writing that book where we share our life experience, including what we might still feel shame around. We back track on our book because it is too much. Don’t worry if you have, that’s perfectly natural.

Connection with our readers is what we want and vulnerability is an incredible way to connect. But as writers we need to learn where the balance is between not enough vulnerability (we act as superheroes and alienate our readers) and too much vulnerability (that’s called flood lighting). Let me give you an example from a completely different area. Business.

When you read a blog about a coach that makes five figures a month, whose profile picture is so perfect she could be on the cover of Elle and who boasts about how you can do the same with her thousand pounds programme, how does that make you feel? If you are anything like me, you will run in the opposite direction. Not enough connection. Not enough vulnerability.

If on the other hand you read a blog about another coach who constantly shares her mistakes and all you feel is shame and embarrassment for that coach, you are not likely to want to work with her either.

The right level is in between. Someone who clearly knows what they are talking about but who also shares her epic fails. It makes her feel human. It makes her feel more relatable to you. After all, you might not feel like a success so someone too successful will put you off. But someone who shares how it took three failures to succeed and who shares with you her learning curve so you can bypass what she had to go through will probably win your attention.

Vulnerable posts and posts about epic fails always get more engagement than the perfect posts.

So where is the balance? I made a little chart that sums it up. Terror zone

You want to be in the learning zone. Just a little out of your comfort zone but not in your terror zone. How will you know? Tune in to your body. When you write about something that happened to you, make sure you are completely in your body and not in your head. (Note: writers tend to spend far too much time in their heads so that’s another practice that we will engage in, during the masterclass). Take a deep breath and check how you feel. Do you feel sick in the stomach? Then you have gone too far. If you feel no discomfort, then perhaps you haven’t been vulnerable enough.

Does this help?

Write your reaction in the comments. I would love to know what you think.

And if you are ready to take your writing to the next level, why not sign up for my six month masterclass. You can find out more about it here.

To your writing,

(c) Ange de Lumiere 2017

Writer, know thyself

The practice of journalling is paramount for writers. Why? Because as writers, our job is to look at what is around us and make sense of it. Most people have things happen to them. They go through life in a passive way. Some of them have no clue why. Writers need to be more aware. More proactive.

As writers, our job is to make sense to this world. We are observers who then tell stories to entertain others and in my case to inspire. Most of what we write about comes from our experience or our observation of others. Observation can only happen if we constantly reflect on what we see. Reflection happens when we take the time to think about what we see around us but also to understand our feelings.

In 2007, I trained as a clinical hypnotherapist. I was greatly surprised to see in the group of students a man who was an established writer and who ran creative writing workshops. I wondered why he would chose to become a therapist. It only made sense, years later. A part of him enjoyed the interaction with others and helping, but also this interaction made him a better writer.

Of course, the biggest asset of a writer is their imagination. Being able to tap into that creative juice and invent stories and situations. But lest the writer has a high level of emotional intelligence, the stories will feel shallow and disconnected.
This is also the reason why, most writers have had rich and sometimes painful lives. And have gone through more than their share of heartaches. This becomes the fertile soil from which they can grow beautifully crafted stories. These are the writers that I prefer. “Clever” writers have never hit home for me. I like depth and emotion.

But this means being willing to do some inner work. Willing to look at what happened in our lives. Exploring our deepest emotions and our shadows. Understanding fears. Because if we don’t do the work, then our characters wil lack that depth too. So my invitation today is to know thyself. To explore the human psyche. To explore your own psyche. To become more self aware. How do you do that? By journalling. Writing thing on paper allows to put distance between you and what is happening to you. It helps you to recognise what is truly happening. It might not happen immediately but it starts a process. You could even set an intention around your journalling.

For writers of memoirs, I think this needs to be taken to an even higher level. How can we write about ourselves if we still feel raw about something? How can we explore our stories if they are too painful to look at? Or if we feel shame? Hence, comes the need to heal ourselves. And love ourselves too. There is no magic bullet for this. But writing our stories (memoirs) can start the process. Writing your story is an act of honouring what happened to you. Writing memoirs is a way to say that our story matters. That is huge.

This is a process we will be exploring in my six month masterclass. The first month is all about you. Knowing yourself. Healing yourself. Self care. Tools to safely explore deep emotions. To find out more about the course, click here.

Share in the comments what you do to know yourself better.

To your writing,

(C) Ange de Lumiere 2017

How it is crucial to make sure you write the right book

Most authors start writing a book with no real idea of whether the book they are writing is the right book. I am not saying that they should do market research, although if they are writing a business book that would make a lot of sense. I am saying that authors are actually a conduit for something bigger. Their books exist energetically in an independent form from them and what they need to understand is that before they write a word of their book, they need to connect to the energy of the book that wants to be written through them. Not the other way around.

This is a lesson I learnt the hard way in my twenty year career as an author. And I had to learn it twice. The first time was when I wrote a 120,000 book about modern spirituality in 2009. I was so thrilled with myself. Who wouldn’t be. I had produced this masterpiece. Then I went to a clairvoyant to suss out my chances of success… and she told me I was supposed to write a book about slimming. You can imagine how gutted I was.

You would think I had learnt my lesson. But it happened again in 2016. Yes, that’s right, only a year ago. I was working on a novel. Second draft. I signed up for a writing course to hone my story telling skills (up to then I had focused mostly on non fiction) and the first thing I was shown was that this wasn’t the book I was supposed to work on. I was down to my first draft and ready to actually pitch agents. To say I was angry at myself is an understatement.

My deepest desire is that as a book coach I can save you the time I wasted writing the wrong book. And this is where my free ebook comes in. In it, I describe the seven steps every writer should complete before they even write the first word of their book. And step one is connecting to the energy of your book. Going on a date with it. This is probably the most important step of them all.

If you would like to download my ebook for free, sign up for my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/cS7WPf

The best to your writing.

(c) Ange de Lumiere 2017