Writer’s Log: Stardate 27-2-12
If your name is Stephen King, JK Rowling, or John Grisham, the writer’s life is the life of a writer. If your name is something else—Karl Giberson, for example—you have to pause regularly to do other things. I feel like I have been paused for a month now and need to get back in the writing saddle.
In addition to my three-week trip to the West Coast, I have been working on two other projects that, if they succeed, will help me actually be a writer.
The immediate project is the grant that I have been working on—the one I mentioned in my last blog. I have asked the Templeton Foundation for a stipend to support me to spend one full day per week, for three years, writing blogs for places like the Huffington Post. I am estimating that I can produce at least 30 blogs a year. I think it took me more than 100 hours to complete this grant. Grant writing is a tedious but necessary part of the “non-bestselling” author’s life—at least for those authors who are trying to make some money.
I have been incredibly fortunate to have had grants or other funding (all from the Templeton Foundation) to support me and provide some assistance in the writing of almost all of my books: Species of Origins, Oracles of Science, Saving Darwin, The Language of Science & Faith, Quantum Leap, The Anointed, The Wonder of the Universe, and the book coming out this fall from Paraclete, working title: And God Saw that it was Good. All in all, these various grants probably paid for 2-3 full years of salary for me over the past several years, maybe more. The only books written without support were my first book—Worlds Apart, and the one I am working on now, Saving Adam.
I used most of the grant money to purchase releases from my teaching and pay me for working over the summer. And I hired a zillion students to do all kinds of things from tracking down references to creating indexes.
So now I have written yet another grant but one that I estimate is way more cost effective than any of my book grants. Books like Oracles of Science rarely sell more than a few thousand copies so the grant money often amounts to a subsidy of several dollars per book. I calculated that the grant for blogging subsidizes the articles to the tune of a half-cent per reader—very cost effective. If the reviewers agree, I will have some support to help pay my bills. If not, I will greet you at the door of Walmart.