Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogging at the OK Corral

Every day I read something a little bit different than I am used to.

I discovered Penelope Trunk in my wanderings this morning, not that she has been lost or even reported missing. Penelope is the founder of Brazen Careerist. It is a career management tool according to her blog site. Business Week called her writing “poetic” in a review of her blog.

I read a few back issues, mostly the ones about blogging. I want to pick up tips in order to develop a larger audience for my own blog.

Being famous is always helpful when attracting anyone to your blog, website, book or musings of any kind. So what if you are not famous? What do you do?

It appears as if making links back and forth to those that appreciate or at least find some value in what you are writing about makes the most immediate sense. I have visited some blogs covered up in links. When the link opens up in a new window it is easy to track back to where you were. This is the case in Penelope’s blog. No matter how many outside trips I took, Penelope was waiting for me patiently. What a deal!

One link took me to a site giving me hints I might find a new position because I am a blogger. Companies now are not as concerned about a mundane resume as they are finding someone who sees the big picture. I have some age on me, though my credentials still do not include a Doctorate in some esoteric club of super achievers.

I can be me. I can express myself in my chosen profession through word pictures and conversations with strangers and with some folks not so strange. I like it!

In the grant writing world there is a myriad of levels of asking for, offering to give and matching the two of these together in the most symbiotic of relationships. Even the most successful of non profits have an identity crisis when it comes to instant recognition.

If a non profit with even great success is grant seeking in locations of unfamiliar territory, how does one blow Gabriel’s horn when there is not a blank on the application to express that information?

More creativity is necessary to stand out from the crowd, even if your non profit is the perfect match.  Knowing a million deer slayers in the crowd is always helpful. Making a few strategic phone calls before or after an RFP submission can’t hurt if you know the right people to touch base with.

Small foundations looking for small non profits with a record of success make more sense to me, at least for now in my growing stage.

It seems to make sense to apply to 20 or 30 small foundations on a yearly basis using 2 or 3 boiler plate proposals that fit their bill, than it is to put all of your eggs in one or two baskets so highly competed for, your non profit’s chance of funding becomes almost zero.

Penelope’s career is most interesting. Digging further into her successes I even discovered her failures. She puts it out there in plain English. Failure is okay now as it has always been. We learn by our mistakes and then keep on keepin on.

Grant writing can be a rich, rewarding, writing experience. Like any other professional path followed, the road is not easy. I think about the excitement I once had on a treacherous, dirt, mountain road. It was fear I experienced when traveling up that road, and I do mean up. It got steeper and steeper the further I pushed my 1986 Isuzu Trooper II. Reaching the end of that one-lane, no turn-around included road my heart was in my throat choking me. In first gear I loped up that mountain path having little faith my journey would have a happy ending. 

But end it did, with no way to turn around and go back in the opposite direction. Sitting there completing stopped with my brake and clutch depressed to the floor, my Kamikaze character kicked in. Slowly ever so slowly I backed up into the bank with death staring me in the face on the right. I made small corrections one at a time. It took me 15 minutes to complete the maneuver. When I was finally facing down hill once again I took deep breaths, wondering what I would remember as the most challenging on the trip.

 I proceeded with caution to the bottom of the hill arriving safely. Survival was still the name of my game. Though catastrophe could have occurred at any given moment in my trial, I continued along the road less traveled, by me anyway.

Writing to me is no different than my experience on the road that day. At times I am not completely sure of the safety of my actions; but I am always going to be in the game.

The fear and excitement I experienced on my uphill battle that day will not always show up in my writing. Though treading a ledge to express myself seems to bring the best out in my writing.

How about you?

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