Monday, June 10, 2013

To Everything There is a Season...

Ack. Here's how my writing process works for my grants.

First I find at least an hour of time. If I don't have that, I don't even try. (Which may be a fatal error.)
I log on to my computer. I check in on my various email accounts. Usually there's nothing much of importance there. Sometimes there are schedule details about teaching/subbing yoga or some client comments or directions. I go through the "junk" account that I use for buying stuff and check as many of the "incredible" Groupon/Living Social deals as I have patience for, deciding whether or not to buy anything. (Usually, it's not.) I dump all my spam. Sometimes I tidy up older email, deleting or assigning to the proper folder.

I get distracted by Yahoo articles during this process, especially when I log between accounts. I read somewhere between one and 15 completely useless articles. I shake it off and try to concentrate. Next I usually go to my lists of work pending. I go over them. I remember the last grants I wrote. I open up whatever I am currently working on and skim what I have so far. Usually, I get bored/discouraged. I open up my timecards and check how many hours of work I have completed versus how many days are left in the month. I do math for a while and estimate how many hours I need to work during remainder of month to make minimum amount of money needed to stay alive. I alternate between discouraged fatalism that I will not make that minimum and cheer-up optimistic pep talks that I can do it!

I go back to grant in progress and write for a while. Maybe one sentence, maybe a few solid paragraphs. Sometimes I research facts needed for further writing. At some point, I get distracted. I decide to check my blog. I read my last entries, which always interest me and usually make me feel happier. Sometimes I check on other blogs to see what else is going on in world. I begin to think of my recent life events. A blog post topic comes to mind. I open my new post and begin writing. I post to my blog.

I go back to the grant in progress. Now I am warmed up, organized and ready to work!!

Sadly, usually by this point one or more hours have passed by, and my time for writing is up. I pack up computer and go to grocery store/Target/other errand/to pick up beloved child from school. If it's a good day, I repeat this whole process again at home in the evening. It's usually not. Usually I clean up, make a snack, do a play date, make dinner, supervise homework, watch TV and go to bed.

And that is my writing process.

Sometimes I get all the way to warmed up and then continue writing. That is when the magic happens. A good hour or two of solid writing. Progress in a proposal. Then I know that I do have skill and I am good at what I do. My clients seem to think so, and so do funders.

I guess it's just a question of keeping on with it all. And maybe only checking my email at the end of the work day. :)

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