I want a show of hands. How many of you have ever written a grant? I don’t see many hands… but maybe that is because you are all still at your desks, writing grants. Forever.
I’ve noticed some funny little rituals surrounding grant-writing here at the Herm. A certain someone — we won’t name names — likes to close her door and blast certain hip-hop albums when her writing reaches a fever pitch. Megan takes walks in the gardens, and lots of them. Kate gulps down iced coffee. I probably have the most annoying ritual of all in that I physically cannot write a decent narrative without listening to bluegrass. And by “bluegrass” I don’t mean Gillian Welch or some other acceptable form of crossover-grass; I mean the clang-dang-dang-diggy-dang of a good ol’ fashioned, footstomping banjo played by the sort of people who eat squirrel stew for breakfast. What can I say? It gets the juices flowing.
Grant writing is a blessing and a curse: a blessing as it forces me to curb my penchant for purple prose, and a curse because GAH I just want to go on and on about how important our Collection is in the grand and glorious pantheon of art through space and time and God Bless America, Y’all. Writing Federal grants is especially difficult, because I convince myself that whoever reviews our application will be a dyed-in-the-wool Patriot. As a result, the metaphorical flag-waving tends to get… intense. Ridiculous and inappropriate? Probably.
I’m just deeply passionate about historic preservation. Aren’t we all, as part of the collective American unconscious? See, there it goes again.
By the way, I’m halfway through a grant. And yes, I will accept mix-CDs by mail.