If you spend eight hours avoiding writing a grant and two hours writing it, how many hours have you worked? The mistake I always make is by starting with a blank document, as if I were composing something. Grants are not composition. It’s a pastiche of other people’s work. Once I remember to open up all the old grants and cut-and-paste, the work flies by. I suspect that at least some of the eight hours that I feel like I wasted was spent thinking out the grant, which is why I wrote it so quickly.
I don’t want to EVER ever ever spend another hour staring at a blank Microsoft Word document, and then reading Mary Beard’s blog, and staring at the document.
When I do this, I always have this conversation with myself:
Me: If it was only going to take you two hours, you could have done that at 10 am, and then –
Self: I wasn’t ready to write it at 10 am.
Me: How am I supposed to know when you’re ready to write it?
Self: I told you I didn’t feel like writing the grant at 10.
Me: This isn’t the kind of writing where you get to “feel like” anything. This is the kind of writing where you’re being PAID, like with MONEY, and so you have to do it on time, and regularly.
Self: I got it done, didn’t I?
Me: I’m getting too old for this.
Contract is contract. Two hours is two hours. My timesheet for the day says TIME IN: 7:45 PM, TIME OUT: 9:45 PM. But I’ve been at a desk since this morning.