Last year I was incredibly fortunate to receive a grant from the International Center for Writing and Translation at the University of California, Irvine. As part of my responsibilities, I needed to send them a completed version of my project, along with a letter describing how the grant helped me in completing it.
Writing the letter, I realized that, while the grant was incredibly generous and had a significant financial impact on my ability to work on the project, perhaps even more significant was the impact on my confidence as a writer and translator. As a relatively young translator, with no major publications as yet, it's difficult sometimes to believe that my work has any value outside of my immediate circle of friends, family, mentors and colleagues. It's difficult to remember that it is to bring the work to the world outside of my direct interactions that I'm doing the work in the first place.
Receiving the support of an institution to which I have no direct connection was perhaps the greatest assurance I could have gotten that not only is the work I've selected worthwhile, but my own translations are as well. It is not only the completion of this project that this grant has supported, but my ability to take on new projects with assurance, and to continue to pursue my passion with confidence in my ability to succeed.