“The first draft of anything is shit.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Writing and very often talking about yourself is hard. It’s even harder when it’s being evaluated by someone through the lens of a personal essay.
I am currently in the process of writing a draft for the NSF GRFP, and after reading about 20 previously accepted essays, I am still having trouble reflecting on how to make my own personal story “convincing”. I believe I have a strong statement to be made about why my research is important. But to convince the reviewers to support my work, I also need to convince them that I am a good researcher and I have the motivation and experience from my past to pursue said work.
So as a note to myself as I continue to write the first draft of this paper, here is what I should remember:
- It’s gonna be crap the first time around
- Just do it…not in an hour…now
- Finish a draft on Sunday and send it to half of everyone you know
- Finish another draft by next Sunday and send it to the other half
- Don’t exaggerate but be BIG
- Be confident
- You can do it 🙂