How do you tackle grant writing?

Storybook Foundry held a roundtable discussion of grant writing a few weeks ago. As those of us who write and manage grants know, there's a lot to it. As those of us who want to start writing grants know, there's a lot to it. And you hear a lot of advice. But the most fun and informative discussion was the one about how the participants all tackle the actual writing of the grant. Here's some of their answers:

  • I always answer the easy questions first. That way I feel like I've accomplished something and it motivates me.

  • I have to wait until we get close to the deadline. It's always done a few days in advance, but I can't start weeks in advance.

  • I always go through a jot down a few words or ideas I know I want to include in each answer. Then I go back and flesh out that outline. I have to get my head around the whole before I can worry about the individual parts.

  • I always start with the pieces that I need someone else to provide data for or take care of. You can't always be sure people will get back to you quickly, so I like to make sure they have plenty of time.

  • I often answer the data questions first--number of clients served, or population break down--the information I can just copy and paste.

  • I like to write where there is some activity--in my office which is by the main door of our center.

  • But I also sometimes need to go someplace else and have quiet.

  • I keep a notebook by my bed. I often get ideas about how I want to answer a question as I'm falling asleep and if I can write it down, then I can actually GET to sleep. And I don't forget.

These are just some of the things people mentioned. What about you? Do you have a favorite pen you use? Or do you have to have your browser windows open the same way every time? Maybe you need a certain cup of tea or music?

What works for you?