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Another Money Maker for Freelance Writers

There is a certain picture that most people get in their minds when they think of freelance writers.  I always pictured my uncle – wild hair, free spirit, just a little off.  It wasn’t until I launched my own writing career that I began to see freelancers in a whole new light.  Not only are there many types of people out there who write, but there are just as many venues and genres as there are people.

The art of Grants writing is something that has been brought to the forefront of my life in the last few months.  It is something that I dabbled in (starting in college) for many years, but not something I ever viewed as real “writing.”  After all, you don’t get a byline, so it doesn’t count, right?

Grants’ consulting is all about research, writing, and reaching out.  If these things appeal to you, then it might be a path you can take with your writing.

1.      Research – you have to be able to find the sources to fund your activities, and that’s not always as easy as it might seem.  The ones that are easy to find (government grants) have lots of competition and are harder to get.  The ones that are hidden from the view of the world (private, foundation, and corporate grants) are easier to get, if you can find them.  You have to have the desire to hunt down the money.  Then you have to be willing to hunt down all the information you need to present to the grants committee.  Two hunts in one.

2.      Writing – finding the information is just the beginning.  You have to present it in a light that will make your proposal stand out among all those that have been received.  In many ways, it is a lot like a query letter – and we all know how creative we have to get with those.  Writing the actual grant will pull on all your creative writing juices and test your structural skills as well.

3.      Reaching out – every writer out there knows what it is like to be underpaid and under appreciated.  Grants writing can be the same.  Most of the organizations that need help with grants really can’t afford to pay for the assistance.  Fortunately, most freelance writers are use to living on tiny bits of pay.  Plus, there are grants out there that will allow the organization to include administrative costs (that would include the grant writer) in the proposal.

If you know nothing about writing grants, don’t fret.  You probably didn’t know all that much about writing essays, or books, or blogs before you began.  There are lots of places you can go to get yourself started (ed2go.com has some great classes).  After that, you just have to bombard the community with your ideas the same way you do with all of the other areas of your writing.

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