Thursday, October 20, 2005
Couple of weeks ago I wrote a fairly disenchanted piece about the exigencies of applying for grants and the awkward consequences that can follow both success and failed attempts; but I didn't post it. The reasons I didn't were partly superstitious, partly rational: I didn't want to spook the progress of the applications I currently had before funding bodies; I didn't want anyone in any way involved in assessing those applications to read what I might have to say about the process. The piece was predicated upon failure because, let's face it, most applications fail. The success rate is usually below twenty percent and often way lower than that. Well, I was wrong. One of my applications succeeded and the amount I'm offered is most generous. This is the first time in this country that I've been given money to pursue a literary work after perhaps a dozen failed attempts; but, while naturally I'm happy about that, the immediate joy is for the fact that I will not now have to go and drive a cab over Christmas, which is what I was going to do. I was dreading it, but had already begun the process of psyching myself up for it; one of the oddest things about the last few days has been realising how difficult it is to de-program myself away from that intention. Guess I'll manage. Other reactions are simply absurd: driving home the other night from The Rose in Chippendale where I'd had a couple of drinks with a couple of friends, I found myself in a mood of intense regret that I wouldn't be wild in the streets in a white Falcon any time soon. I'd gone from unholy dread to piercing nostaliga in a matter of a few days! My original piece about grants was called Bad Faith; should I now admit to that, not only with respect to the things I do to get money, but also towards my own untrustworthy emotions about those things? Probably.