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:

The best to your writing.

(c) Ange de Lumiere 2017

Why writing a book is good for your business

The Why of your book (as we explore in my Mini Course on how to get started with your book) is different from the purpose of your book. The why is related to you mostly, and possibly to your audience. It can be a self development aspect, or maybe a need to reflect on your journey or learning. The purpose, on the other hand, is more specific. And if you are a woman in business, or a leader of some sort, the purpose of your book is to further your work. 

So how can a book expand your work?

A book will expand your work first and foremost because it will establish you as an expert. People still look up to people who write books. There is a wow factor. And it can be a wonderful way to start a conversation. When I tell people that I am an author, there is an immediate interest. Not everyone might be interested in the topic of my book, but it starts a conversation. And having conversations with potential clients is good. 

A book also increases your “know trust and like factor”. It sets you apart. It increases your charisma. Charisma is important as an entrepreneur. It is a way for you to enter the life of your potential client and get them to hear what you have to say after you say goodbye. Even if it is just them looking at the book cover, and not yet reading the book, you are now in view all the time. You have become part of their lives. Physical books have a better presence than ebooks that can just go hiding in someone’s tablet. 

A book is a wonderful way to take your client on a journey. And if it is well written and compelling, your client will move closer to you. But here is the catch. It will only help your case if it is beautifully written and on course. You need to weave in just the right level of personal information to engage with your reader and make them feel your presence besides them. Your book needs to be clear and inspiring. Confusing your reader will create the opposite effect. And if you are a first time author, it will take a lot of practice. Writing is practice practice practice. As the saying goes 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. And this is the reason why it is paramount to hire the help of a professional. 

A book will get you speaking engagements, get you on podcasts or even on the radio and TV. It wil increase visibility. It will also force you to get visible, if that is something that is hard for you, it can be a beautiful process. The halo effect is bigger for authors that get published traditionally. And the reason is that self publishing has become much easier nowadays with variable levels of quality. But a respected indie author can get as much clout as a traditionally published author, especially if the following is big. This however, cannot happen with a single book. 

Don’t expect an overnight success. As with everything else, promotion takes time. And most of the benefits are indirect. I love Chris Guillebeau’s title: 279 days to overnight success. Writing and publishing take time, although not as much time as most people think, but it is not a racing game. It is a long term strategy. 

However, as an expert, it takes you into a different league. 

Is that where you want to be?

If so, do not hesitate to contact me through my page or by email at anges de Lumiere 101 at gmail dot com.

To your writing

(C) Ange de Lumiere 2017

How tarot cards can make your writing easier and more fun

In my six month writing masterclass, I will teach you how to use the tarot to write your book. But why do I think that tarot cards can help? Tarot has been used to explore psychology for years. Karl Young was a big fan. There is a reason.

It is an amazing tool.

I have over ten years experience as a tarot reader. I trained with the Tarot Schol of New York. This gave me a deep knowledge of esoterism  but also symbolism. Tarot is not reserved for divination, it is also an amazing tool to explore the human psyche. And what tarot is really is a series of flash cards to tell a story. Not every deck does that. Some decks are richer than others. The Rider Wait deck, which has does not usually appeal as much to beginners due to its austere design, is by far the most complex and useful deck I have used. Each card is a world onto itself. You can find out about a whole character by looking at one card only. This is the book I recommend.

Tarot is so much more than a divination tool. It is a fabulous tool to explore the subconscious. To go to the root of the matter. But it can also help you get unstuck if you reach a part in your book where you don’t know where to go. Let’s say you were exploring the psychology of your main character (and this applies to memoirs too), you can pull a card to understand his or her true essence. Or find out what his conflict is. Just with I one card. If you picked the King of Pentacles for example, this would indicate that your main character is a mature male with a grounded attitude and possibly a fair amount of money. If you had pulled the King of Wands, it would be an entirely different feel to it. There, you would be looking at someone passionate and creative but also that possibly has issues with anger management.

How do tarot cards work? They do because everything is energy. In my seven day writing challenge, I encourage my clients to connect to the energy of their book through a guided meditation. I believe that books are independent energetic entities. So you don’t write a book but you let the book be written through you. You are a conduit. All you need to know is how to pull the information and understand it. Tarot cards are amazing way to do this. Tarot cards carry energy too. All symbols do, which is the reason why I recommend being careful what you wear. When you shuffle a deck of tarot cards whilst asking a question, you send an energy to the cards and they respond. You don’t have to over complicate. Just give it a try and have fun.

We certainly will in my masterclass when we do. And I will bring my ten years of experience in doing professional readings to help you make sense of the cards. My six month writing masterclass starts on the 1st June 2017. It is meant for female leaders or business women who want to write an inspirational book. Contact me through my page if you are interested and want to know more.

18920449_1372666346159125_1523624483490306702_nOn the 21st of June, at 1 pm UK time, I will be holding a free one hour webinar on how tarot can be used to help write your inspirational book to give you an idea of what the masterclass will be like. It will be held on my Facebook page but to make sure not to miss it, sign up here: click here.

To your writing,

(C) Ange de Lumiere 2017

The fear of offending

Beginner writers often fear offending people if they write what they really want to write.  I know. I did it. Like everyone else. I was afraid to come out as the real me. For years I hid the fact that I have a spiritual connection because I came from a background where education and intellect were worshiped. Intuition wasn’t. Even as I write, I still fear being ridiculed by all those academic writers who value logic over reason. I can reason all right. I used to be a corporate lawyer and a damn good one as well. But.. and it is a big but, what made me the best lawyer was the combination of my intuition and my intellect. Because I had been raised in a family that despised intuition and believed that intuition lowers the intellect, I was conflicted. It took me years to own my truth. I am here to show people who are ready to see it that combining intuition with intelligence takes you to your highest potential. In fact, in my world, intelligence comes from intuition but that’s a subject for another blog.

So why are beginning writers so afraid to offend?

It could be that they think they should write to please everyone to get more sales, or that they are afraid of being judged, or for memoir writers that their friends and family will get offended. These are all valid fears. They are real. Ask any seasoned writers and they have pissed off a lot of people but here is why you should and must go beyond your fear of offending: you need to be authentic and you can’t be authentic if you hold back on what you have to write. Let me explain.

You are not for everyone.

Don’t try to please everyone.

The world needs YOUR voice and if you are too afraid to stand out, the world won’t find you. The RIGHT people won’t find you. And the haters and the people who want to be offended will get offended anyway because you know as well as I do that those who want to get offended will. Right?

Ask seasoned writers about the letters they receive from complete strangers who accuse them of revealing details about their lives. Ask them about those hate letters. But at the end of the day: none of this matters. You must write what you have come here to write. Does that make sense?

You must write the book that is meant to change the life of one person but aggravate others. You need to be BRAVE. You need to have the courage to STAND OUT. So do it. Write that first draft as if no one was going to read it. Give yourself that much freedom to explore what you really have to say.

I moved countries, write in a language that is not my native language and use a pen name to give myself that freedom. And still, I tend to hold myself back. Nowadays, it is not my family that I am afraid of offending. I don’t even tell them what I am writing. It is the internet troll who is going to write an offensive comment on one of my blogs. But there is one thing I learned by being in the online business and that is that you need to be authentic and that there will always be haters. In fact, some coaches encourage you to celebrate your first hater as the sign that you are becoming visible.

BEING BRAVE is one of the topics we will explore in the first module of my six month online writing masterclass for fabulous inspirational writers. It starts on the 1st June. To join the masterclass, contact me through my Facebook page.

To your writing,

(c) 2017 Ange de Lumiere