The Future is Coming

COVID-19 is changing priorities and deadlines for many grant applications. While there is money for the coronavirus, most of it will not help most nonprofits. Like small businesses sinking into bankruptcy, nonprofits are headed that way, too. Unless they manage their future.

One of the reasons grant deadlines have been delayed and priorities altered is that foundations are looking at their investments. Money will be tight due to the downward trend of the economy. Yet, like the recession of 2008, things will improve.

I am encouraging the nonprofits I work with to contact the foundations helping them in the past. Seek out and continue the relationships. During downturns and with reduced funding, foundations want to reduce risk. They are more likely to provide for nonprofits they funded in the past rather than recent ones.

Nonprofits can do more by looking for in-kind donations and volunteers. Plan for a lack of funding and seek non-funded options.

There will likely be despair. Yet, this is a right-now situation.

If you are a nonprofit who has been around for a few years, your mission has become important to many people. The positive impact to the community has been felt. Seek out businesses, government, and organizations who want to make sure the nonprofit does not fail. I hope the government and organizations help small businesses, too.

My Progress in Self-Publishing – The Book Cover

There are many blogs about writers trying to self-publish. Unfortunately, this is another one. And, this is the worst kind of blog post — one where the self-publishing effort is in-progress.

I’ll start with after my book has been edited to the point where I felt it could be read without too much wincing by the reader. My plan is to “go wide” meaning I will not be exclusive to any one platform (i.e. KDP Select). So, the first place I went to publish my book was KDP.

I learned how to format the inside of the book and had no problems with the upload. I could feel the tingle of excitement to be a published author. I felt the dread that strangers would read something I wrote. Yet, all my in-progress slammed to a halt when I attempted the book cover for the print edition.

I hate the book covers in my genre. Everything is dark with reds and greens. My novel has humor and satire and is optimistic. I want my cover to be bright and the designers I found disagreed with me. So, I designed the front and back covers separately using MS Publisher.

However, I do not have the software nor expertise to design book covers and I knew my design needed more attention. I tried to find a book designer again. I am still looking.

While looking, I started learning the software to design a book cover. This is my novel and I am paying the designer. Why can’t there be a compromise?

Who is Miscellaneous?

Every budget seems to grow a miscellaneous category like a zit needing to be popped. For grant writers: pop this category (yeah I know this is corny).

A miscellaneous category grows out of laziness of the creator or the years have not been good to the list (people created categories as the need arose). Miscellaneous categories can also grow to hide what the nonprofit is spending money on. None of these are a reason for a growing miscellaneous category.

If this category is large enough to be noticed, it gets noticed. People wonder what is in it and questions are asked. When I receive a nonprofit’s budget, I go to the miscellaneous category first.

Many nonprofits do not have useful categories to stuff their budget numbers in; causing a long list of categories ending with a bigger miscellaneous. My first challenge is changing a nonprofit’s budget categories, at least for the current year. If they let me, I redesign the budget like rewriting a short story.

I take the budget details and create a new categorization that allows for more summarization while making sure I keep the identity of the money received and spent. This is the important part: Keep Everything True.

When done, I have popped the miscellaneous category (I had to end with a corny comment for no real reason).

P.S. If anyone wants more details on how to do this, let me know by comments or email.

Staying Motivated to Write

This blog post is about staying motivated to write.

Yes, there are a jillion zillion such posts from bloggers much better than me to write about it. There are also bloggers who do not know how to write about it, but did anyway. That makes it no reason for me to write about writing motivation, so I will.

A wall exists in a parallel universe inside the writer’s mind. The writer is on one side of the wall saying, “I want to write.” On the other side of the wall is the writer’s ability to write. At the same time, the wall does not exist. Something like Schrödinger’s cat in 3-D.

The reason there are so many opinions about motivation is because there is no answer. Like The Cat, every answer is correct at the same time it is wrong. So, I’ll add to that with this advice that I hope some day a person will read:

Time was invented by humanity to judge a person’s ability to act. Ignore time and think past the wall to a world created by your mind.