A reminder amidst the grant writing flurry
It’s grant writing time – today there are grants due in an there is a strange tension in the air – emails are answered in curt monosyllablic sentences, phones answered with unexpected vocal volume, facebook is fairly uninspiring and twitter is slow and rudimentary. We are all huddled listening to our thoughts, pecking away at keyboards racing to be coherent and elligible by the deadline.
I have given myself a 20 minute window to write this. I’m not re-reading, spell checking this. This is a raw post. It’s a reminder to myself and anyone else feeling that sneaky, self-concious nasty self-sabbotaging doubt a long application form can trigger:
* Writing grants is about the possibility of a dream/idea/image being made reality. It is about potential collaborations, potential experiments, its about solidifying in text form your wish or vision.
* Having a project to pitch already says that you are an artist. The grant application or pitch is about sharing that vision, so others may get excited and support you.
* Just because you can see around you many great leaders and many great artists does not mean that they will automatically be given the money you are applying for. If your project is worth your time thinking about a project, it is worth your time writing about it and it is worth the time you invest in doing it – and if you give all you can that puts you in the running.
* You are an artist. That means you are good with money – you can make $100 stretch into something that is worth thousands. Paint, canvas are just the basic stuff – the artist makes it art. What you have is unique and special – and only you can do it and make it the way you make it.
* You are an artist, you dare to dream or imagine things as they could be or were or will be.
* You are an artist, you want to contribute something beautiful and meaningful to your field and practice.
* You are an artist, you are excellent at seeing the big picture, confronting big questions, involving yourself in epic ideas.
* You are an artist, not a sports person there is not an ultimate or best there is a “best fit.” It’s like a gambler thinking that they are in control of everything – nonsense. Do your best. Do something. There are no guarantees, there are guidelines – follow them the best way you know how. If you do stuff up – you’ll know better for next time.
* Not getting a grant because you’re in a field of amazing artists, does not need to be a depressing thing – who knows you may love their work and partner with them next round.
* You are not alone. Everyone is feeling this pressure – and that’s because they care too.
* If you don’t get this grant you might get another – or the project might happen anyway – or might happen differently.
* Your job is to give. Your job is to provide stimulation, love to an audience. Your job is to be a visionary. your job is to create spaces and places for people to think and feel and question and confront. Your job is to give people a reason to turn off their worries or contfront themselves . Your job is to give beauty to the world to soothe it – or to uncover the horror so we are not afraid anymore. your job is to make things so that we as a society and a civilisation know how to live. Your job is to choose what nad who you invest your time, curiosity and talent in.
Above all else, your job is to be brave.
Your job is to look inside yourself then give what you can. You are an artist. You are a leader of thoughts and emotions.
Do your job.
Eat a sandwich, have a cup of tea. Walk out and feel the sun on your neck. Then get back to it. Get it done.
And remember what you are doing is worth it.