Grant Writing Tip #4: Invest Time in Pre-Writing

Have you ever taken a vacation without planning where you’re going?  In the film “Yes Man,” Carl (played by Jim Carrey) and Allison (Zooey Deschanel) decided to take a spontaneous trip to a random location.  They drove to the airport and purchased tickets on the next flight that was boarding, and off they flew to explore—where else?—Lincoln, Nebraska.

I admit that serendipity has its appeal, but my inner Girl Scout usually trumps my inner vagabond.  I like to know in advance where I’m going to sleep, and I plan a route that encompasses the sights I want to see at the pace I want to take.  Planning doesn’t guarantee the result.  The airline may lose my luggage, or the campground may flood in a storm.  But I’ll know when the attractions are open, where to park, what to pack, etc.

Time = Money

Writing a grant proposal is not nearly as fun as taking a vacation.  Like planning a trip before you walk out the door, however, the time you invest in pre-writing exercises will benefit you when you start typing.  There’s a good reason why this tip is in my top five:  spontaneity has no place in grant writing.