Monthly Archives: February 2017

Every New Book is the First One

I used to think that if not writing itself then at least the rest of the process of bringing a book into the world will become more and more routine with each new book.

But it doesn’t look like that at all. I am working on my books nine, ten and eleven these days and I must say the work on them differs very much from those before and between each other.

One of the books I work on this year, and which is being edited by a professional editor right now, took me four months to write and one whole year to revise it.

It is not my first non-fiction book and not my first work where I made research, contemplations, and developed concepts. However, every step in creating this book, both writing, and editing felt like it was the very first one. Every bit of the process requested me to think out of the box, made me feel creatively uncomfortable, and made me exclaim, “It was never that way before!”

The paradox of wishing some calm of known, of a routine and at the same time longing for new and exciting accompanies me every time I work on my books.

I do feel challenged and feel an urge to complain. But when I slow down and look honestly at what is happening, I don’t want the whole process to occur in any other way.

I want each book to be new and exciting. In truth, I want it to be unknown, however scary this process might be.

And as long as I want it this way, I guesstimate that it will be like that.

What about you and your writing projects? Does each of them surprise you in any way? If yes, then how? If no, did you look close enough? Or non-judgmentally enough?

Picture: My children never stop surprising me. Here is my sweet little girl at the past New Year’s Eve party, claiming that the hat she was wearing was a bike helmet.

Copyright © 2017 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels

Contributing to Mekon’s Bitesize on Business Rules – 5: Business Processes Are Not Just a Category of the S1000D Business Rules

I remember how I as an employee used to look suspiciously when management of the organizations or companies, I used to work for, declared that they had to consider business processes and possibly reorganize them. I remember how I used to think, “But you need concrete actions, not just thinking!” With this, I meant that either new people needed to be employed to manage all the work we had to do or new tools purchased.

After having worked for thirteen years with S1000D and having among other helped meeting management decisions, and especially today being an owner of business, I learn more and more that being aware of the process flows inside a project or organization is vital. I also understand today, that a few simple but effective changes in business processes can save a lot of time and money. Considering and tweaking the ways how things occur in a company or organization can be immensely beneficial for all involved: customers, partners, employees, managers, and entrepreneurs.

Here is an article for Mekon‘s Bitesize on Business Rules, where I have explored this topic a bit more and where I quoted an excellent and illustrative resource explaining business processes. Above that, I show how business processes and business rules are connected.

Click here to find out more: Business Processes Are Not Just a Category of the S1000D Business Rules.

(Credits: Photograph © < under the keyword “process”)

There is No Successful Business (or Project) Without Efficient Communication

This past weekend, I finished revising my something-in-between-of-tenth-and-twentieth-draft of the book with the following title “Take Control of Your Business: Learn what Business Rules are, discover that you are already using them, then update them to maximize your business success,” and sent it to my editor for the final edit.

On the day I sent the manuscript out, I discovered that I wrote the book within four months and revised it within about a year.

I’ve learned a lot during this extensive revising period.

The most helpful and biggest lesson I’ve learned was a concept, which accompanied me during all these twelve months of revision. This concept or rather a process was communication. I wouldn’t have been able to improve my book, as I did, without discussing the book and its ideas with different people and listening to their opinions to see how they resonated with me and with what I wanted to communicate.

Here is what I have written in a section of a chapter on management business rules, which I called “Let’s Emphasize the Importance of Communication” (Note: the editor I work with didn’t have a chance to edit my text in the excerpt below yet):


‘I found an enlightening answer in a book about marketing — a business process non-existent without efficient and effective communication. Martin Stellar, a business coach, and writer introduced a particular art marketing system in “Take Control of Your Art Business,” Book 1 in the series of “The LEAP Art Marketing Series.” Based on twenty years of his studies and experience in psychology, business, marketing, and sales, he developed a system he calls LEAP, which is an acronym:

“First, you LISTEN to what your ideal audience wants and in what way they like to be approached.

Next, you EXPLAIN: who you are, what inspires you, how and why you create your art, and why people ought to take a close look at it or buy from you.

Then you ASK: you can ask for a sale, ask for a response, or for people to visit your show — whatever the context and purpose, you always need to ask people to take some sort of action.

Once you master these three things, that’s when you get to the final part of the LEAP system: You get to PROSPER as an artist.”

I am convinced that if you start with listening to your customer, after that explain what you can offer, and finally ask for action without forgetting to tell what your actions will be, then your business will prosper, whether it is an art or an engineering, a small or a large business.’


The modern world, similar to its predecessors I suppose, is full of paradoxes. And the most striking is that, on the one hand, the Internet seems both to connect us with, and on the other, separate us from each other. It connects us globally but locally, in a family or with friends, it tends to separate us from each other. At the same time, we complain that mobile phones and computers isolate us more and more from each other, but simultaneously, there is almost nothing you can do today — either in private life or especially in business areas — without the participation of others.

The whole marketing process is about communication, even when a marketing specialist sits alone in her cubicle or office at her computer and prepares a presentation. She does every single bit of her work with a customer, receiver of the information she compiles for, in mind.

But also other areas of business, including design, production, sales, management and all the other, involve one or another form of communication. Often all types of them, both in personal (face-to-face), remote (on the phone), directly written through emails or direct messages on social media, or in a subtle way, by viewing their profile on LinkedIn or other media. These are all communication. Even the intention to talk to someone is already a part of communication.

So why are we so keen on improving production processes, the communication tools, various business processes, but often forget to take care of the ways we communicate? Is it because then we would need to slow down and pay attention? Slow down enough to be able to listen, to have adequate time to explain and ask for action, so that the potential customers or partners in a project get interested and keen to join us in our endeavour? To make our project a project of their own? Won’t this make us all prosper in the end?

What will happen if I slow down? If I pay attention to how I communicate with my partners and customers in various projects? If I forget for a moment about all those important agendas, I have almost at each moment? What if this approach will result in growth, stability, and longevity of my business and benefit all involved in or relating to it? If so (and I am sure it is so), then I am all for it.

What about you?

Picture: among the pictures I made in the past month, I realized how much this one of a pavement reminded me of a smooth and harmonious communication. If all stones are laid with care, without any gaps or difference in height between them, then a walk on them is effortless. But if the path is uneven and with holes in it, mishaps are almost preprogramed.


Copyright © 2017 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels