Thursday’s Post-Publication Post: Summer’s End

Remember when I posted my summer to-do list? What sort of progress have I made? I’ll share that below, in a second update-reprint (click here for the first one). 

North of the equator, we’ve just begun summer. Although I’m still going to be working 40 hours a week in my day job, still running the usual errands, still partaking in the same family responsibilities (and joys), I’m also hoping to accomplish certain writing-related goals before we merge into fall.

After all, for six weeks this summer, my 40 hours at the office will be recalibrated: heavier on Mondays-Thursdays with “summer Fridays” off. I hope to use those Fridays wisely. And I hope that I can use the general light and energy of the summer to help infuse some projects under way and others that I hope to start.

Herewith, items on my list of writerly hopes, plans, ambitions, and commitments for the season.


  • Quiet Americans; track progress of new (non-Kindle) versions; calculate and send Q2 contribution to The Blue Card. Done.
  • Complete work on new short story and figure out if it may be a novel chapter; begin new story/novel chapter. Well, I finished the first story and began sending it out. I am researching some background for a second story.
  • Write at least one new poem; revise existing poem drafts. Some revision. Nothing new yet (still).
  • Draft Israel-related essay. No writing yet, but I have a deadline because I’m going to present the essay live. Stay tuned.
  • Check where submissions are outstanding; follow up if appropriate; send out new submissions. In progress.
  • Research/apply for short-term residencies for winter-spring 2012. In progress.


  • Practice and deliver presentation for Manhattanville Writers Week session on “Social Media Strategies for Writers”. Done! And here’s something for all of you who couldn’t be there!
  • Research and write article due to The Writer on August 1. Done.
  • Prepare Q&A re: The Borrower, by Rebecca Makkai. Done! Have you seen the posted Q&A yet?.
  • Prepare Q&A re: Rethinking Creative Writing, by Stephanie Vanderslice. Done! Have you seen the posted Q&A yet?
  • Prepare Q&A re: The Little Bride, by Anna Solomon. Done! Interview appears in the current Practicing Writer.
  • Peruse fall/winter catalogs for possible titles to review and monitor reviews-in-progress (track ARCs, read, write, etc.). Done, but ongoing.
  • Prepare and distribute July/August/September issues of The Practicing Writer. Done. Done. Done.
  • Consider if I want/need to seek additional fall/winter assignments. I’ve actually had to turn away some work. 


  • Research and purchase new computer. Done!
  • Have “writing dates” with friends. Pathetically, did not manage to arrange a single one! 
  • Make (and keep) annual appointments with ophthalmologist and optometrist. (Considering how much time I spend squinting into screens, taking care of my eyes seems more and more important.) Appointment with ophthalmologist in July. Since the ophthalmologist was willing to renew my contact lens prescription for me, I’ve delayed the optometrist.
  • Get apartment windows washed (and other household tasks). (It’s nice to have a clear view once those eyes are checked.) Not yet. I’m telling myself that the windows make more sense once the facade work on my apartment building has been completed.
  • Read, read, read. Also an ongoing activity. Follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading now, and join in the Friday Reads fun!
  • Catch up on movies/go to museums/attend concerts & readings. Art feeds off other art! (And I live in New York City, for crying out loud! I’m practically tripping over all of these opportunities!) Still not enough progress here, either. In part, the weather (and some health issues) remain to blame for my homebound tendencies when I’m not at the office/with family/meeting friends for meals-drinks. But as I said in July, those excuses aren’t good enough.
  • Get to the gym or go for a jog 2-3 times a week. (Sure, more would be nice, but let’s be realistic here, given my schedule and my usual response to heat and humidity.) Exercise energizes the body and helps clear and focus the mind. Same excuses as immediately above.

I concluded the earlier post in this “series” as follows: “And what about you? Have any of you made summer writing to-do lists? Care to share what’s on them?” So now I ask you: How are you doing with your to-lists to date? I’m especially eager to hear from those of you who were generous enough to post your own lists in the comments section for the original post, but everyone is welcome to share!

2 thoughts on “Thursday’s Post-Publication Post: Summer’s End

  1. Mike Hooker says:

    Hi, Erika,
    Wow! What a list. My goal for this summer was to get my own book review site/blog built. It’s still under construction, but I did post my first review Tuesday (8/30/11). Thanks for sharing your list of goals.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Mike, I look forward to your new site! And thanks for the comment. It’s odd, but when I saw how many items lacked strikethroughs, I started to feel as though I hadn’t accomplished as much as I should have. But your comment cheered me. This WAS an ambitious list. And better to have set lofty goals than no goals at all.

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