We're a little crazy, about science!

A writing realization

I had one of those shower realizations last night. I was thinking about all the writing I’ve done and how much I still have left and suddenly it occurred to me that I was done with all the writing… for now. That’s not the only thing though, I had the realization that I wrote more the second two weeks than I had the first two, by a lot.

In less than a month I’ve written a grant proposal and a fellowship proposal. As I mentioned in posts of writing past, ’tis the season for asking people to fund your research. Technically it’s grant/fellowship season, but also conference season. The difference is grant/fellowship season happens once a year and conference season (at least in my line of research) happens twice a year, once in the spring and once in the winter.

To give you an idea how much work it is to write a grant proposal from scratch, much less for your first time, my proposal has a 1 page summary and a 15 page project description. Between the two parts I have roughly 200 citations and most of them were papers I hadn’t read prior to writing the grant. That required a lot of reading, I mean eyes bleeding, brain melting out of your ear amounts of reading.

There were days where I would write two sentences and spend hours reading papers to find the right citations for what I was trying to say. I’m not one of those people who reads the title and abstract, I need to dig a little because the last thing I want is for it to come back and bite me in the ass. Basically there was far more reading than there was writing. Most days I was lucky to get a page done.

Thankfully I found my rhythm and even though I felt like my head was going to explode I finished 1 page in about 2 weeks, then the 15 pages in about 2 weeks. Yeah… that was intense. Thankfully by the time it came to write my fellowship proposal I had plenty of papers from my grant that I read and could cite them without having to re-read them so I had the three pages I needed written in 2 days with ~100 citations, probably more than I needed, but better to over cite than under cite in this case.

Of course, that doesn’t include the writing I do here (way easier by the way to just stream my consciousness to the blog!). Nor does it include the other writing I did this month. I think I’ll save that surprise for another post, we’ll cover it tomorrow, but it was something I thought would be fun to do and I enjoyed it a lot. I’m excited to talk about it and while I’m being cryptic now, I’ll be sharing all the details about it tomorrow.


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