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    I Got Too Cozy in my Writing Niche

    How can I explain the relaxing place I plunked myself in, writing-wise? I feel pretty comfortable in my non-fiction magazine genre. I have a routine. I pick a subject, do the research I enjoy, query an editor and then I write up my piece.

    It's comfortable. It feels great. My muses work overtime.

    Yes, I have several; not just one. I have never experienced what is unpleasantly known as writer's block. When I want a subject to write about, my muses dance. They sing. They race to do my bidding and, yes, I realize I am a fortunate writer.

    Watch Lyne write.

    I no longer have a comfortable routine. I was recently asked to venture into another writing area I hadn't even thought of yet.

    Grant writing.

    And not your ordinary grant writing either. This is killer grant writing. Asking the feds for money. I had no idea there were people more obsessive/compulsive than a writer. I promise you, they're out there and they're running our government. With the help of a genius grant consultant I was given permission to hire, I was able to find the correct grant application guide to use.

    After I spent 4 hours, 3 Motrin tablets and a warm compress for my forehead just to read the instructions, I made a discovery -- our government is being run by the whiniest, most neurotic fusspots known to man.

    My muses went into a coma. I was not a happy writer.

    Now I find out that before you can even send in the grant application asking for money, you have to send them a letter of intent, I'm guessing to let them know you're going to ask for money.

    Doesn't sending in the grant application tell them you intend to ask for money?

    I am told by my peach of a grant expert, "It certainly does not!" She tells me you have to tell them you're going to ask for their money first before you actually asky for their money.

    I liken this logic to calling my local grocery store to alert them that I intend to come in to buy groceries before I actually come in to buy groceries. I'm quite sure they'd be excited to hear this news.

    So now I've used all the words in the dictionary just for my grant. Now I just have to figure out how to put them together that satisfies people who would use logic that defies the very notion of logic.

    I am now seriously thinking about writing fiction. An unassuming little story about an alien abductee falling in love with her alien captor, who then requires that she empty her bank accounts, safe deposit box and give him all her blood.

    This is how it feels to write a federal grant.

    This is what happens when you get too contented. But I'm learning.

    Copyright © 2001 Lyne Royce

    Lyne Royce is a freelance writer living in the desert east of Phoenix. She lives with her devoted husband and six spoiled and previously stray cats. She's fervent about Native American history and enjoys reading books on the subject when she has the time. After 15 years teaching software classes, and two years doing Web site design, Lyne decided to listen seriously to her muse and has participated in writing workshops and clinics on the Web, including the Writer's Digest Workshops' Fundamentals of Non-Fiction Writing, Focus on the Non-Fiction Magazine Article; WriteRead.com's Query Letter Clinic; Writers.com's workshop Writing and publishing Magazine Articles; the humor clinic, Writing from the Left Side of the Brain with Jane Combs; and Secrets of the Professional Freelancer at Coffeehouse.com. She belongs to several writers discussion groups but her favorite, Writers Pad, is where she enjoys learning from her writer friends on a daily basis that it is possible for a writer to become a published writer.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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    FOR JOURNALERS

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