Thursday, February 5, 2009

Grants Angst

Just so you know, applying for an NEA is really nightmarish. (I've won different grants before, and judged some, too, but not the NEA, and it doesn't make it any less angst-ridden.) First, you have to do it all on line, and after fighting with the application, I realized I had to download another form of Adobe Acrobat.  Okay, fine.  Then I filled it out and tried to send it, and it wouldn't work.  Called NEA who said they were having problems.  Good news for me because I forgot to attach five pieces of information they needed!

Then I had a crisis of confidence, should I send in creative nonfiction or fiction? And WHICH fiction? The novel I just sold? The new novel? Should I send in an essay, but then that means I would have to do a book of creative nonfiction if I won and I don't really want to do that.  This, of course, made a trail right into angst about whether or not I should apply for a Guggenheim. (I think I will!  Why not! Of course this means approaching writers and asking for recommendations and hoping this request will not be met with a clearing of the throat and a polite step backwards.  How much rejection can a girl take? Well, when it's me, A LOT is the answer.)

Of course, I still cannot get into the site, and NEA tells me they are very, very slow. All I have to do is make a final decision on which fiction to send and hope it works. 

Sigh, isn't there a patron out there who will just front me the money so I can write my novel for a year and do nothing else? Come on, I'll even sing for you!  I'll write you in as a character name! I'll dedicate the book to you! I'll cook pasta and broccoli!


Clea Simon said...

Ugh, what a hassle! I hope this isn't taking away from writing time. Don't you wish we had a staff who would do this kind of thng while we worked on the writing? Think I could train my cat?

Caroline said...

I think Musetta would be an excellent help for writers! The whole NEA site is down, they told me to try again next week.

Gina Sorell said...

You guys are amazing! I have never applied for a grant. I am always way too intimidated and overwhelmed. My answer has always been to just make and sell something like my jewelry or hope for a dormant commercial to go back on the air! Not a very good strategy I know :)

This year I think I should try and apply for would make things so much easier.

I have friends who have supported their entire careers with grants! And I also know that some of them use professional grant writers..hmmmm.

Lola said...

When I win the lottery, you are first on my list!!!!!!

Bernice L. McFadden said...

I know the feeling!