Grant Writing is like Having a Baby?

A confused man.The best thing about being a grant writer is getting the news that one of your proposals is funded. That’s a good moment. The second best moment is being paid for writing the grant. The rest of the job is just plain old-fashioned hard work.

Grant writing is hard to do well. It is a ton of writing, and rewriting, and editing, and formatting, and so on. It’s often a tedious process. It can also be frustrating when a narrative isn’t coming together the way you want it to. That raises the stress in a stressful process.

The final hours before a grant is due can be crazy too! Things around our office get tense on submission day. Everyone is very focused on those days and there’s always that atmosphere of grinding out the last details. Anyone who has ever written anything of importance knows that a narrative is never truly finished. Oh, it may be grammatically correct, the format may be just-so, and the language may be crisp; but, there’s always something that could be improved a little here and there. Those are the details that a professional writer cares about working with up until the very last moment.

So nearly every proposal is like having a baby. It’s a lot of hours of labor punctuated at the very end by a lot of hard pushing, sweating, and grunting. There are no epidurals and there are no C-sections for a grant, only the old fashioned way, there’s even Lamaze breathing over the copy machine.

OK, so maybe that’s a little too graphic to be sexy but giving birth to a grant is a lot of hard work. The big difference is that as the writer, there’s no more work after the grant is born. After the grant is delivered, your work is done and if it’s done well enough your baby will produce good things in the world for your client. But you never have to change a diaper.

Maybe I drifted way off topic here. Let’s try to tie this all together shall we? One of the best days of a person’s life is when their child is born. One of the best days of a grant writer’s job is when a grant gets funded. What leads up to each of those events is by turns pleasurable ( Person = ahem-ahem, and Grant Writer – getting paid) and lots of work ( Person – going through 9 months of pregnancy and labor, Grant Writer –writing the grant), but in the end something unique and wonderful is produced ( person – baby, and Grant Writer – successful proposal).

Wringing the life out of a metaphor – now that’s sexy.