Writing Grant Proposals by Vickie Galindo
Professors often need (and want) to write grant proposals. As a fellow faculty member, here are the things that I do when I get ready to write in a serious manner. I write lots of grant proposals so this is the perspective from which I write.
- Make sure that my work space is properly prepared – no unnecessary information on my desk, the supplies and materials I need are within reach, and I have snacks handy (for some reason my fingers type faster and I write better when my mouth is moving).
- I generally isolate myself – which means that I usually work at home so there are fewer distractions and fewer interruptions.
- I tend to work on big writing projects early in the morning or between 7 p.m. and midnight as that seems to be my best creative time.
- I clear my mind so that I can really concentrate on the project at hand – that means I don’t respond to emails or phone calls while I am working on deadline (unless it is an emergency). This drives my colleagues nuts, but it works for me!!!
- I don’t let lack of statistics slow me down. I write as it comes to me and leave blanks for stats and information I need to fill in. I don’t waste time getting it at that moment, I go back and fill that in later or designate it to a graduate student.
- I just write – so my tip to you is: Don’t worry about finessing it now. Even if something is out of order, I just write it down so that I don’t lose the thought. I can always go back and wordsmith and cut and paste.
- As I start the editing and cleaning up process, I keep a “junk” section at the end of the document where I paste information I am deleting. That way I still have it if I end up needing it, and if not, when I am finished with the grant proposal, I just delete that section.
- I read my final products out loud. Just know that my cats are very well educated.
- I have several people edit my last draft – one for the content area, one for a good editing job, one outside of the content area to make sure that it makes sense, and one to make sure that I have responded to all of the parts of the request for proposals.
- If I am stuck in one area, I just skip it and go on to another area and start writing rather than fret about it.
© Vickie Galindo, CGW, Director – Business Development Arrowhead Center
New Mexico State University, Box 30001, MSC 700, Las Cruces, NM 88003
Office: (575) 646-5265; Fax: (575) 646-2186; Cell: (575) 202-3013
Vickie is responsible for generating new business and developing new projects for her center, which is tasked with the specific role of creating economic development opportunities for NMSU and the state of New Mexico through the areas of business incubation, the Entrepreneurship Institute, Intellectual Property Commercialization, Policy Analysis, and development of a business and research park. She also is an experienced instructor on the grant writing process if you are ever in need of a presenter or some expertise.
Do you know any writers who procrastinate? Could that writer actually be you? We writers know perfectly well that we procrastinate, sometimes in very clever ways. In need of tips to help you stop? You’ll want the Get a Plan! Guide® to Postponing Writing Procrastination, part of the Get a Plan! Guides® series.
Inside, you’ll find 15 practices to postpone your writing procrastination. You’ll receive the ideas and inspiration to do your work easier, faster, and in a more focused fashion.