The official call for proposals was released on Sepember 28, 2011. We were given 60 days to prepare each proposal. That seems like a lot of time, right? Perhaps. But when you're writing numerous grants and need a large amount of data, ranging from census driven statistics to financial information, specific properties in need of assessment to specific redevelopment options - it ends up being a lot of research.
Add to it the pesky task of regular project work and you end up with a really big task. But ever one to be up for the challenge - I dove in.
And because I'm OCD - I kept track of the hours I worked. All told, from October 10 - November 28, I put in just over 121 hours of overtime, not including the holidays I worked through. How did I do this? Weekends, nights, very little sleep - and a husband who took on the task of childcare management. (Oh, and no personal or social life for nearly two months. If I haven't written or called or talked to you lately - please forgive me - I've been up to my eyeballs in grant applications.)
I enjoy writing. Actually, I love it. Often times I wonder if I should have pursued that career in journalism that I contemplated back in college. So having the opportunity to write for days and weeks on end was actually something enjoyable. (It took me away from statistical risk assessments, data review, and paperwork - yuck.)
And at the end of the day, we ended up with sixteen grant applications that I dare say are pretty darn strong. Of course, I'm emotionally committed to each and every story I write. (Job hazard.) And I feel for the communities that are not awarded - not just because I'm insulted that my stellar writing skills weren't awarded - but because these communities have real need. (And the company has needs as well - as in - if we don't get 'em funded - we don't get any work.) But I'm proud of this work. I'm proud of the stories and tales I wrote. And I believe in them.
It wasn't all easy - there were definate frustrations along the way. At least we can laugh at ourselves (after the fact) as we struggled through the last few days, hours, and yes, even minutes of finalizing the last applications.
So say a prayer for us. Annoint yourself with holy water or oil or burn some incense - that this year's applications have better results than last year. Or you just might see that F-Bomb tally increase significantly.