A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away a young project manager worked for a small-medium sized charity. She loved her job managing a small troup of humble support workers, farming away for the good of society.
Call to a bid adventure
Then, one fateful morning her boss asked to see her. “Your project funding runs out in 9 months. We have to win a new grant and our bid writer is on maternity leave. I’m nominating you for the job”.
Our young manager felt a stirring inside. A pull towards the mission. But it would mean leaving her safe, ordinary world of project management. So she resisted. “I can’t do this. It’s not what I am. I’m not a bid writer.”
But then she looked at her happy team and the people they helped, and saw for the first time what would happen if their funding was lost. No one else would step forward to save it. Her world had already changed.
So she stepped over the threshold of her bosses office again, said “I’m in” and began her journey.
A mentor appears
That evening she found a coffee shop and sat down to begin. It was a struggle. Who should she apply to? How would she know what to write? How should she start?
An old man spotted her fear. “Use the bid writing force you must… calm you must be, for the path to become clear”. And so he taught her all he knew.
She returned the next evening, anxious but excited. He taught her how to outline a bid, and the difference between outputs and outcomes, aims and objectives. Then, when he judged her ready he explained the secrets of what funders really want to know.
And so our young bid writing padwan gained new knowledge and skills. But she was still untested.
Then, just as she became comfortable hanging out with this old guy, he told her it was time. Time for her to journey solo and begin her bid writing mission.
Facing her fears
And so she researched, she talked to users, and gathered the best kindest words from commissioners and project partners. She made a shortlist of potential funders and outlined the first bid.
But then, finally, at the end of this process, it was time to face her biggest fear. The blank page of the Empire. The empty screen of her deepest childhood writing fears. It was her father. That screen was her father. Just her and the screen, waiting like an expectant parent.
So she began writing. And the words flowed. They teemed forth from her lightkeyboard. She wrote so much. She felt so strong!
Until disaster struck.
Just when it seemed she had won the day she did a word count. She was 8000 words over the limit. She’d lost focus, rambled away from the questions. Her bid was a mess, lost and impossible to follow. She was lost in the Forest Moon of Bidwriter.
And then she heard it. A forceful stirring inside, accompanied by the voice of the old man “Lost you are not. Bid writing force you must seek, deeper than before…”
The final battle
And so she poured herself another coffee, went for a walk with her favourite droid and returned refreshed, clear and most importantly, calm. She was ready to re-enter the fray.
The bid writing battle now became a war of editing attrition. She cut back again and again, slaying words until exhaustion threatened her fingers to drop off. At the death, there was just her, and the bid 2 words short of the word limit. With a final heave of her soul she removed the final extraneous ‘to’ and ‘that’.
She was woken by a hand on her shoulder. Was it Darth Bid Writer, come to judge her effort? No, it was just her boss, with a glass of water. “Are you ok, you fainted”.
“Yes. I’m fine. It’s done”.
Her boss was mightily pleased and sent the bid off.
Tingling for the next episode
For a while our young padwan was lost, bereft of purpose now her bid writing adventure was over. But within a few days she slipped back into the groove of her ordinary job, managing her project and looking after her team. Though her memory of the bid faded slightly she was forever changed. She had new skills.
And at night, just when she was drifting off to sleep she could feel the power of the bid writing force still tingling in her fingertips.
Soon she would be called again to the world of bid writing.