It's been slow going, but I drafted up five new paragraphs for my NEH app. I kept getting stuck, reading and rereading, moving around, editing, deleting, everything piecemeal. I had essentially two different, partially completed drafts, and I didn't know how to reconcile them.
So, without scrapping what I had already written, I decided to just start writing fresh. Mostly, I added a great deal of background to my proposal. One criticism I got earlier this week was that the draft lacked enough "proper names". So, today's writing is peppered with citations and allusions. I'm trying to portray myself as someone who knows the literature, the history, the questions better than just about anyone else, which I believe to be true.
The trick is to keep it interesting and approachable, yet present the issues as unresolved, and worthy of resolution, and myself as being in a position to do just that. [SIGH] I confess to being just a bit tired of pumping myself up. It seems all too egotistical to endlessly argue how special I am. But this is a fellowship proposal. It's about my work. And it's about me. If I can't sell them both, I'm out.
Now, for a quick stop at the library, then I'm heading home. I may try to steal a bit more time this weekend. I've got until 5:00 pm on Monday to finish and submit. I've got a meeting at 11:00 with one of the professors in my host department, to go over my draft. Then I just have to press send, and be done with it.