Editing and the Word Wall

If I thought this grant-writing stuff was easy, let me tell you four weeks in to this position, it's not. Not that it's hard to come up with ways to spend the money - no, that part's relatively easy. No, what's hard is making the proposal polished.

Yesterday I wrote the first draft of a proposal that's due at the end of December (I'm not a believer in procrastination, but that's a topic for another time.) Now, that draft is covered in my own green-ink edits. Bleeding green, even. Cross-outs and deletions. Notes to myself on verbiage, notes to myself on formatting and layout. Notes on word choices. Notes that I did things like use the word "success" nine times in a 3.5 page document. In one place, I use the word "success" and "successful" in the same sentence. (If nothing else, let this serve as a reminder for why we write rough drafts that nobody sees except us, the writers.)

It's that last one (the overuse of the word success) that's got me frustrated today. Maybe the grant-readers don't notice that sort of thing, I have no idea honestly. But my internal editor won't let that stand in the final copy.

The problem is what words to use instead. Dictionary.com lists "hat trick" as a synonym for "success" but I don't think that's an appropriate substitution. ...mastery of these core classes is essential for college hat trick... See what I mean?

What I have decided to do is, on the dry erase board next to my desk, I am going to keep of list of overused words like "success" and a list of synonyms. The idea is, if the words are handy, I won't have an excuse to not use a better word. I can just look to my right and PRESTO! Synonym!

Just be clear, "hat trick" is not going on the word wall.


John said...

"hat trick" would work in a hockey related grant. :)

Rachel said...

I see Holly's green pen editing has worn off on you...

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