Monthly Archives: November 2016

Contributing to Mekon’s Bitesize on Business Rules – 3: Business Rules Definition Starts Long Before Signing a Contract

(A note beforehand: This post is attributed to both Business Rules and S1000D blogs on this site, since the post and especially the article referenced in it, relate strongly to both topics in equal strength. This means that subscribers to both blogs will receive the notification on this post twice, once for each blog. I apologize in advance for this inconvenience.)


Recently, I was told that the Mekon‘s Bitesize series on Business Rules becomes quite popular, and was asked to send something new as soon as I could. However understandable this is — the topic of business rules is quite multidimensional and complex —, I was very pleasantly surprised.

At some point, I will probably write articles on concrete business rules decision points defined by S1000D and their aspects, but so far there are still many general topics to cover, in order to understand what business rules are and what they are not.

The third article in the series addresses the point in time when the business rules definition starts. It is much earlier than the actual project officially starts. It is definitely before a contract between cooperating and consuming parties is signed. In fact a number of the core decisions are recorded in those contracts. Understanding when the decision making starts can help to get it better under control.

Click here to go to the article.

(Credits: Photograph © under keyword “time”)

Starting a New Online Fiction Project – Continuing the Series “A Life Upside Down”

Recently, I have finished writing and sharing with you, here on my blog, the “Cheerleading for Writers” project.

So now the blogging-a-creative-book space is free and I decided to offer it to fiction.

There are several books projects I started some time ago and left to pick up later.

I realized that the most challenging for me at this point of time would be to write “A President’s Sister”, the second book in the series “A Life Upside Down”.

There might many reasons, why it is most challenging. I guess the most prominent of those reasons is that I discuss this project quite a lot in my head, especially whether it is worth to write it now, when I have so many other projects to do. “But you are going to continue blogging on writing, so you might as well do it there,” my creative brain drops in.

Yes, I might as well do this and I will do.

I actually think now that it might be the best solution for this series. I remember how, when I was writing the first book “A Spy’s Daughter” and the prequel “Seven Broken Pieces”, there was a certain urgency to get the story out there, and at the same time realization that I needed to take time to elaborate each scene, so that the reader is captivated instead of being rushed through.

So blogging a book (or in other words writing and posting it bit by bit) in this series, might be a solution and I think it is worth to try.

In the next posts I will start posting chapters and/or scenes of this book. But I will also share the writing process with you and my experience during research and re-reading the books I have already written in this series.

I am actually gathering the experiences on the latter right now. I’ve read the prequel recently and read the book 1 these days, a chapter or so a day, and I must say the experience is very interesting. It is as though I am getting to know the person I was when I wrote those books. She is definitely a different person than the person I feel right now to be. Not better, not worse, just quite different. My brain does try to compare. But it is quite impossible, because the life moved and moved me with it. And now it is time to write a new book. 🙂

As soon as this second book in the series will be published, I will remove this first draft from my site, because it is only meant to share its creation process with you. Maybe I will keep the articles on the writing experience. But the story itself will be deleted as soon as its polished and improved version will be out there on Amazon and other retailers.

I had a great experience of undertaking a similar endeavour with “Nothing Is As It Seems” and enjoyed it very much. So I am doing this again and welcome you into this adventure with me! 🙂

Click on the title of this new project at the end of this sentence to read the short description of “A President’s Sister”. I will update this regularly to add all the links in relation to this project.

Picture: me and my sister Svetlana when were children. If you have read “A Spy’s Daughter” and happen to know both of us, then you might have recognized some of our traits (not all 😉 ) in both characters. My beautiful sister is on the right. A small anecdote about my love of being photographed as a child: I’ve been told to have thrown the toy you see in my hands into the photographer. 😉



Copyright © 2016 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels

A Startup’s Glossary: Startup

Startup Stock Photos

(Photograph © under keyword “startup”)

Today, I begin a new category in my business blog. I called it “A startup’s Glossary”. The reason for it is simple. As a startup or a new business — and after one year in business, I still consider Optimist Writer being very new — there are many things to discover and to understand.

The entrepreneurship has its own language and there are many dictionaries and books explaining various bits of it.

I guess I won’t be wrong saying that, as with anything else, the perception of what entrepreneurship means is very subjective and depends on a very personal prism through which a certain person is looking at it. Most of those perspectives are worth looking at and as I gather experience with my business, I realized that it is worth for me to observe and discover my own perspective on various topics of being an entrepreneur and owing a business.

I would like to start with the word in the title of this category. Startup.

The Online Business Dictionary (, to which I will be referring regularly in this Glossary, defines a startup in the following way:

“Early stage in the life cycle of an enterprise where the entrepreneur moves from the idea stage to securing financing, laying down the basis structure of the business, and initiating operations or trading.”
(Read more:

This came as a pleasant surprise, since some time ago a number of sources related to a startup as a completely new idea, never done before by others, like designing and producing a water-pump powered by a specific kind of solar batteries, or similar great novelties, and not realization of any new idea, which made have been pursued by others as well.

There was a certain fear of not belonging when I, as a writer and consultant, went to events organized for startups. I did feel the topics they discussed there addressed me and my endeavour very much, but I thought I didn’t classify because there were thousands and thousands of writers and consultants before me. Optimist Writer is a unique name and my approach is unique, but doesn’t it apply to any venture? Each department store is unique, even if only in respect to its location and people working there, and though the articles they offer there are the same as in the other stores of the corresponding chain.

The definition above did bring relief and strengthened something I realized as a writer.

Ernest Hemingway once said about being a writer:

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
(Ernest Hemingway, The Wild Years)

I feel the same about startups. You can never become a master of starting and owing a business. Each endeavour is unique and the world around (and inside) us changes faster than we notice. I think entrepreneurs will never be able and should never stop being an eager startup apprentice, that is someone who is always invested in learning how to bring ideas to life and someone who immediately tries the learned knowledge out.

Copyright © 2016 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels