Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Night School

Writing grants and other funding requests is a lot like writing papers for school.

Which may explain why, for the third night in a row, sitting at Panera with the laptop and the truly genius-like Genius feature on in iTunes, command-tabbing back and forth between two such projects, I feel like I'm back in school.

Except technology and my laptop are waaaaaay better now, making it all a little more pleasant.

Writing like this forces me to clarify my thinking. To drill down into the details. To articulate assumptions and support arguments. To make decisions.

It's cliche, but it's true: if you want to get something done or commit to something, write it down. Until you do that, no matter how good a handle you think you have on something, it's still amorphous.

Amorphous isn't a bad thing - but it's clarity and details that ultimately take your good idea/argument/habit/whatever a big step closer to reality.

And now I sound like I'm teaching in school...

Point is: it's been a long two weeks, there are still a few days left to go, it's all coming down to the last minute, the stakes are high, and I should be feeling the pain. But I don't (yet). It's been valuable for me personally and for the Englert to STOP: take the time - even if it's at night in a coffee shop - to prioritize, pull thoughts out of the air and articulate a clear vision for who we are, what we want to accomplish, how we're going to do it, and why it's deserving of financial support.

That was a run-on sentence that would get dressed up by red ink if I actually was in school.

Back at it. Coffee #3.

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