Friday, October 22, 2004


The last couple of days have not been good for my soul. One of our directors got back from a 3 month honeymoon and decided to make a whack of serious changes to my project that I was just wrapping up. It opened a whole can of worms and the CEO is now questioning my research methods and vendor rating systems. Of course, all of the changes have to be made without affecting the deadline, adding more people to the project, or paying me overtime, and my manager is siding with the director. Good times. I’m pretty sure the CEO is seeing this as a credibility problem on my part, but there’s conflicting opinion on that one.

There were some warning signs last year that I had jumped from the frying pan into the fire when I left my last nightmare job, but I chose not to see them, since all I wanted was to get out of that place. Now history is repeating itself. Based on this, I’m inclined to think that I’m somewhat, if not almost entirely, to blame in this fiasco. Arthur says it’s the industry I’m in. IT is a young industry filled with arrogant, inexperienced people who can’t make up their minds – everything is always on the table and no topic is ever closed for discussion, despite deadlines and commitments.

Anyway, despite everything I’ve been preaching on my blog, I’m now stuck in a miserable job until I can either dig myself out, or move on to something else – in a different industry (one run by adults). Of course, finishing my novel is now of utmost importance – I must push myself to really get jamming on that. Then, for good or bad, I will be largely in control of my own destiny.


At 2:24 PM, Blogger Oz said...

Not to be negative, but finishing your novel most likely will not put you "largely in control of [your] own destiny." I've read several times that writing a book is about 10% of the work. Your destiny will be in the hands of agents and publishers, if you can even manage to get it into their hands in the first place. Unless you already have an agent? If so, you're truly one of the lucky ones. I've tried to get a book published, and it is hell on earth. Writing is fun and something I want to do. Prostrating my (unknown) self to the publishing world makes me feel a little nauseous. And even if you do manage to get an agent and then your agent manages to get your book published, the amount of money you can expect to receive somewhere between $5000-$15,000. They can't all be million dollar best sellers.

Sorry I'm such a pessimistic bitch.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Trillian said...

Thanks, Oz. Just a minute while I slit my wrists...
No, really, I recognize that it's not an easy road. And it's even worse for Canadian writers, as I understand it. But, if I don't go after what I really want, then I'll always wonder.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Have you thought about National Novel Writing Month? I thought I might enter, and it would be nice to have someone I know along for the ride.

At 10:57 PM, Blogger Carmi said...

You're significantly better than this scenario would have you believe. Let's not forget I've reviewed your work: you're an excellent writer, one from whom I've learned a great deal.

Hold on to your dreams. Forget the risks - potential, real, or perceived - of letting your fingers fly on your quest to build a career based totally on your ability to control the written word. It's out there. If you believe in it enough, it'll happen one way or another.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Amelia said...

Making serious changes as a project is being wrapped up really indicates more of a problem with the management rather than you. If they had either made themselves clearer at the onset OR not changed their minds at the last minute, then you would not have been in that position.

It's no good to think too much about it, as it's happened and you've done your best.

I think it's excellent that you are focusing on your novel instead. Maybe this is part of your journey to become a successful novelist, sometimes it's the obstacles we encounter in our path that inspire us to achieve our dreams.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Oz said...

Hey there, I just wanted to add that I was in no way trying to discourage you from following your dream, i.e. writing. Please, keep writing! Finish your novel! But do it because you love doing it and there is an inherent satisfation in doing it--not because you think you'll end up rich...or even making a living out of it. For me, those are perks and not goals. Otherwise, chances are, you'll fail. It's the same as someone going to Hollywood and saying, "I'm going to be a movie star!" Well, maybe, but that's more about luck than talent. My experience with publishing is the same. You can be the best writer in the universe, but unless you can get a fucking agent to look at your writing, it doesn't matter one whit.

That being said, I still write, and I still have the dream that someday I will get a novel published. :)

At 12:36 PM, Blogger withknivesout said...

The idea of writing a novel "for yourself" is the stupidest concept I have ever heard. Any person writing for oneself needs to quit fooling themseves and realize they write for the same reasons everyone else does anything: be it fame, money, recognition, persuasion, etc.

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Oz said...

Hate to break it to you, but I've written several novels for myself. Of course, I'm not the sort of arrogant asshole who thinks that I know everyone's motivations for everything that they do. Maybe you should quit fooling yourself with the mistaken belief that you do.

Ah, I see you're from Texas. That explains it.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Trillian said...

OK - break it up!

Actually - I'm going to have to side with Ozzilyn on this one, in as much as I'd like to prove to myself that I can finish the damn thing and be proud of it. I won't lie to you, though - I'd like other people to like it too - and it would be amazing if I could make a living as a writer. That would be my bliss.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Okay, sorry for being slightly self-centered about the NaNoWriMo. My thought was that you could finish your novel, a task in which I wish you much luck.
So to recap, hope you can follow your bliss as soon as possible.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Trillian said...

Hey Chellee - sorry about not commenting on your comment. Actually - I'm very interested in it. Can you give me some more info at Thanks!

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Dean said...

I wanted to comment on this when you posted it, but just haven't gotten around to it. Life has intervened.

Changing project scope at the last minute isn't reserved for IT companies. I've worked at old, long-established companies that did the same thing.

We joked about it, about how the final state of the project was merely a snapshot of changing requirements, but it was painful. Painful.

I feel your pain, in other words.

I have found that the best way (the only way, really) to handle it is to smile but record everything. That way, when it's late and the bozo that made the decision gets snarky, you can pull out your timeline (in which you have carefully recorded each change in scope) and say "That's because you changed this and this and this..."

That usually works. But if you're seriously stressed about it, I'd start looking, quietly, for another job.

At 6:14 PM, Blogger Trillian said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words! I've got a better perspective now - work is just work, not my life. This place is certainly better than the last, and maybe some day Arthur will make enough money for me to stay home and write full time. In the mean time, I'll do what I have to do, and document the hell out of my projects.


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