My wonderful friend Dora, who is also a writer, reminded me last week about the SCBWI grants and wanted to know if I was going to apply for one.
It took me a day or two to check out the website to remind myself what the grants were for, but after looking through the requirements and checking through my folders for material that I might have ready to go, I decided to go for it.
Deadline: March 15. No exceptions. Mailed applications only.
I finished polishing on Friday night. Saturday morning I printed off my application form. Bundled a screaming baby into the car to the printers and then the post office, only to realize both were closed on Saturdays. (I thought post offices were open half-days on Saturdays, but I guess that was before the recession?)
After the printer and post office disappointment, I wondered, should I even bother entering? I had Monday. I could still overnight the material to California and make the deadline.
I made my photocopies at church on Sunday. Sunday night I looked into UPS costs.
Thirty dollars for their cheapest next-day service.
I asked the Dashingly Handsome Sidekick what he thought about me spending thirty bucks on getting a grant application in on time. He's such a nice husband, he said it was okay.
Today, I walked down to the hardware store where they accept UPS packages and found out they don't have a morning pick-up time, only an afternoon. Which would make the cheapest overnight cost fifty dollars.
I hesitated. Of course I did. Fifty bucks and no guarantee I was going to get this grant.
But I went for it.
Call me confident. Call me stupid. I don't know which I am. My stomach was in knots all the way home over what I'd just done. I knew spending that money might be comparable to throwing a fifty dollar bill in the toilet bowl and flushing it down. As I walked, I thought of all the other things I could have spent that money on. It was a painful walk home.
But I'd come so far and invested so much valuable time, part of me felt there was no turning back.
Have you been in this same type of situation before? Give me some perspective. How did it turn out for you? I don't mind hearing the bad outcomes as well as the good.