Sunday, February 8, 2009

NEA is possessed

Why do they make the NEA application so difficult? 

 It's all electronic, which should be easy, right? But every time I tried to do it, I kept getting bounced off.  I was on the phone with them all day Thursday and Friday, trying to figure out why my log-in wouldn't work (someone there tried it and it worked fine for THEM), why the application wouldn't go through on my Mac, Jeff's Mac or my PC, and why it kept blinking funny.  They had a cute button that checked for errors and it kept telling me there were now, UNTIL I found I had forgotten to put the extra four digits on the zip code!  That was what was holding it up!  But no, that got me to step five, but not step six, which is when the damn thing finally goes through.

Friday at Six, the person I spoke to told me they were having tremendous problems and would be down all weekend most likely, and to please try again on Monday.  So, I heard from a writer friend that they were back up, and tried (All I want to do is get this application off my desktop!) and got a message that said "You have used up two of your incorrect log-ins." A warning!  

I feel like crying hysterically. All I want to do is apply. (I'm entering part of Breathe,  my novel that is going to be published by Algonquin. Forgive me, I am so happy and amazed with my editor and publisher that I need to see that phrase in print, as if that makes it real.) 

Besides the NEA, I want to apply for a Guggenheim, and then there is the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation, which I actually judged one year (and never won! ) And the Isherwood. And Scriptolooza, and Fade In, and the WGA Fade in/Writers Net.

Please.  Grant me a grant.

Life is so hard for writers now that they really should make this easier for all of us, shouldn't they?


Katharine Weber said...

After reading your first NEA post, I looked at the application form and decided that I just can't do this, so you won't have me competing with you for that NEA money!

It's intriguing to me that the NEA expects dreamy creative writers to be able to complete those forms.

It is really going to reduce the number of applications altogether, and the pool of applicants who can do it without having their heads explode will therefore consist entirely of those with the governing, organizing skills needed to apply successfully.

Caroline said...

You are so right. I love the phrase, dreamy, creative writers, because really, how can we possibly know that we need those last four digits on the zip code for it to go through when the Validation stamp is telling us all is OK? How can we talk about Adobe and computer systems? I grew so frustrated I had Jeff talk to them about it all.

Cari said...

Grant applications give me hives.

Lola said...

Maybe it's part of their screening process....:) just kidding. Trying to lighten the mood:)

DH said...

This is truly a nightmare. I've been working at this application for 12 hours. It is inscrutably difficult. I'm analytically-inclined and techno-savvy, and I simply can not manage to even LOG IN to their site.

I'm ready to hang myself.