Tag Archives: author

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.

Success is a topic we will explore in the first module of my six month writing masterclass starting on the 1st September. Find out more here.

Would you like to share a small success of yours here? An “invisible” one? One that people can’t go and check on the internet?

To your writing,

(c) Ange de Lumiere 2017

Your writer’s name

What name are you going to use as a writer?

I found that personally, this question was holding me back. I needed to find a good nom de plume. Some of you might be absolutely fine using their birth name to write. Some of you might decided to use one because they love the idea but for some of us, it is a necessity. I, for example, didn’t want my family to know what I was writing. I knew that some of it might be hurtful for them. But the main criteria was that I felt that if I wrote under my birth name, i would censor most of what I would write. In other words, the thought that my family (my mother in particular) could read what I wrote paralysed me. Is that strange? For a while, I thought I would wait until her and my Dad went back to the creator but I just couldn’t. I had to write. So I moved countries and started writing in a language that wasn’t my native language. And the English language has given me the freedom that I needed.

How did I chose my nom de plume?

First I changed my first name slightly. The reason was that my name in the English language is nothing like my name in French and I hated how the English pronounced it. No matter how many times I tried to explain to them how to pronounce it, they always butchered it. So I used an anagram which also happened to be a nick name of mine anyway, so it feels familiar. It happens to mean angel, and a lot of people have called me that. I find that sweet.

My surname came from my love of the cinema. The Freres Lumiere were the founder of the cinema. Most film students know that. And there is a very strong and vivid love of the cinema in France, even today. Paris is the city that has the highest ratio of cinemas per capita in the world. France is the third biggest market for films and it is the country that has the smallest percentage of US films screening. In short, we love a good film. So de Lumiere was a way for me to honour that love that my native country and myself have for the cinema. During the best part of my life, I could only cry in the darkness of cinema theatres. And when I did I cried fountains. Bambi is one of my best tear jerker. That says a lot.

Lumiere also means “light” and as a visual artist, the light is very important to me. It is also important to me because I am an energy worker. I believe that we have a force in us, that other traditions call chi or ki, that makes us alive. We are not only bones and flesh. We have a soul. I believe in subtle energies and in the invisible. I experience telepathy, clairvoyance, intuition, mediumship and other “paranormal” phenomenal every day. At the same time, I am a very practical girl whose best subjects in school were science and maths and who had a fifteen year successful career as a lawyer. I need proof. I love contrasts.

Someone once told me my name was ridiculous because it means Angel of Light in French. They advised me to change it as soon as possible. Technically the “de” in French is what is called a “particular” and when used in a surname it is an indication of nobility. I like that it gives me nom de plume un “Je ne sais quoi”: a special touch. So I said to that person (I was not offended in the least) that my name was like marmite, you love it or you hate it. It’s not really my issue.

How are you going to chose your nom de plume? I know authors who have chosen their mother’s maiden name. Or chosen randomly from a phone book. I have one British ancestor called Armstrong and I once considered using that name. I liked the strength of it. There are wonderful first name and second name dictionaries that can help you with that choice.

You can use more than one nom de plume. I have a second one for part of my work that I need privacy for. My agent told me that he has a client who has ten noms de plume. Wow. Does she use a different name for each book she writes? And if she does, why? That certainly triggered my imagination.

The best to your creativity,

Ange de Lumiere

“Hello (…) friends. This is a plug but not for me. This lady had taught me loads. Not only is she a great writer, she is also a fab mentor/guide/teacher so for anyone out there who writes, or has always wanted to write or simply needs a new focus this year then I highly recommend what she has to offer.” – Ali Todd, author