Killing my darlings*

*No violence has been done for this post.

Killing your darlings. It's a phrase that many writers have heard, a description for how ruthless they need to be in revising their beloved pieces. No matter how great a turn of phrase, or a scene might be, if it's not working for the piece, it's gotta go.

The same holds true with grant writing.

I've got a Thursday deadline to meet for a big grant. I spent all day yesterday working to craft this puppy. I wrote a great needs statement.

Except it's not a great needs statement for this grant. So I did it; I cut 291 words -- darling words, and a great quote from a respectable researcher. I put in different words (not sure how many.) I got rid of the great quote from a respectable researcher and put in other quotes for perhaps less flashy sources but ones that better illustrate the point that needs to be made.

Grant writing is a mix of tugging on heart-strings and appealing to the intellect. I think my original needs statement was a little intellect-heavy. Were I writing an academic paper, the argument would have held up well. But for a grant, there's an element of inspiration that needs to happen as well, helping a funder catch your vision.

I guess I'll know if my revisions worked come September and we get the word on funding decisions.

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