There’s a certain pessimism that allows you to be blasé about not receiving the grants/awards you apply for as a writer. It’s the pessimism that says, “Chances are I won’t win this, but I’ll try anyway.” Then when you aren’t selected you can say to yourself, “See, I thought so.” Or if you are, you can be pleasantly and genuinely surprised/honored.
I wrote my musical Joe Schmoe Saves the World in reaction to not winning the Richard Rodgers award one year, dissatisfied with the artists who had. I thought of the Stravinsky quote: “The one true comment on a piece of music is another piece of music.” Resentment/bitterness/sour grapes can be transformed into something truly worthwhile.
Often I find I can learn a lot from people who receive grants/awards for which I also applied. It introduces me to a new type of work or a new way of thinking. It gives me inspiration to see other peers finally receive due attention. It forces me to pay attention to what people are responding to and strive for greatness in my own work.
On the other hand – sometimes it’s just down right frustrating. Continue reading Eligibility and the Kleban Prize