Does this scenario sound familiar? You have a grant deadline coming up so you open the grant application or pull up a blank page to start writing, but your grant team hasn’t given you all the information you need and you can’t think of a single thing to write. The blank page looks hauntingly back at you.
It happens to all grant professionals from time to time (or maybe even a little more often than we want to admit).
4 Strategies for Getting Past the Blank Page
1. Prepare Your Writing Area: Silence any distractions by closing your door, your email, your phone, and anything else that might distract you from the task at hand. Get your favorite beverage. Turn on some music to help you focus.
As I write this blog post, I am walking on my treadmill desk. My email and phone are silenced. My water bottle is sitting within easy reach. And Michael Buble is serenading me.
2. Boiler Plate Information: Start with the easy information. Insert the information that won’t change – organization contact information, mission statement, vision statement, history of the organization, demographic information, etc.
I keep a document that has all this information together for each of my clients so I can always easily find the information.
3. Important Information: Add in any other important information you know. Rachel Werner, GPC gives some questions to think through in writing in her blog post What’s Your Grant Story? and Amy Bonn shows How to Use Data to Tell Your Story.
I also like to have a project/program description document for every program I write a grant application. Again, this makes it easy to find the information I need.
Congratulations, you do not have a blank page anymore. Now, you have information you can start editing and arranging. You can see where you are lacking information. You can more specific questions of your grant team. You can even highlight where that information will go for you and your grant team to see.
What are your strategies for getting past the blank page? We’d love to hear!