Almost four months ago I submitted an application to the Northern Works-in-Progress grant competition. The grants are awarded about four months after the deadline date. In fact, the last time I won a grant, the notification arrived promptly on April Fool’s Day.
In about two weeks I’m going to be watching the mail. One good thing about the Ontario Arts Council is that they notify you whether or not you won, so you can stop thinking about it and either a) buy a celebratory bottle of champagne or b) drown your sorrows in plonk. Or chocolate.
I will be very happy if I win a grant. It will buy me time off work – even if only an extra day a week. I can make very good use of that extra day. The last time I quit for four months, but I can’t really afford to do that again because of the seniority and pay I’d lose. Extra days are good, though.
Every time I’ve had a grant, I’ve finished the project at hand and, usually, started another. I don’t expect it would be any different this time. The current project is my dystopian-future young-adult science-fiction novel with transgenic humans, and I’ve just got to the crisis point where my POV has to something irrevocable. Looking forward to seeing what happens because, truth to tell, I’m not really sure.
If I don’t win a grant – oh, well. It won’t be the first time. Work will go on, both on this novel and on my rewriting of the Swan Harp, parts one and two, and the writing of part three. This is the thing about writers and other artists. We do it anyway. Withholding money doesn’t make us stop, and it’s probably true that giving us a lot of money won’t make us stop, either.
Look at Don Mclean, for example. When he was asked what “American Pie” meant, his response was, “It means I never have to work again unless I want to.” That song was release in 1970 or ’71, and Mclean was still recording albums in 2014. Clearly having a boatload of money didn’t stop him doing art!
I’d love to win a grant again, have those days to throw myself into writing all day long. I can still do a 2,000-word day, and another, and another, as long as I have the days. Keep your fingers crossed for me!