Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Three quick things:

1. Sure, maybe, in this hazy, hot, and humid city everyone is simply in search of an air-conditioned refuge. But I was filled with happiness upon seeing a crowd waiting for my local NYPL branch to open on Monday morning. (You can’t even see the entire crowd in this picture! Or the many strollers—yes, let’s get ’em all while they’re young!)

Crowd gathered on the steps and sidewalk in front of a branch of the New York Public Library.

2. Motivated by a no-fee contest deadline, I spent a fair amount of time this past week trying to carve out a chapbook from my full-length poetry collection. Spoiler alert: I failed.

a big red “X” mark

Part of the problem, I suspect, rested with my awareness that this contest requires a fairly significant portion of the submission to be composed of unpublished poems. I might be able to make a chapbook work, but I am fairly certain after my failed efforts that I won’t be able to do it and meet that particular guideline.

In any case, as I told my accountability partner when I reported this to her yesterday, meeting that contest deadline is now off my priority list. It’s simply not going to happen.

3. In more optimistic news, though, over the weekend I did send out a couple of batches of unpublished poems to journals that I discovered fairly recently. Here’s hoping for some good responses!

What’s new with your writing practice?

8 thoughts on “Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

  1. Erika:

    So glad to be back on your list serve, with the time to read and even more important, the time to research and submit. Began my life as a full-time writer beginning of July, and my focus has been submitting every piece of polished work in my files, and creating new work (children’s poetry and pbs, and apparently some memoir). I once again look forward to benefitting from all the information on your wonderful site!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Congratulations on your new phase, Carol! I look forward to visiting your site and learning more about your work—as I’ve been confessing more than usual lately, I’m hoping to develop some children’s-lit projects of my own, so I’m looking to learn!

      1. Hi, Erika – thanks – my site will be up in a few weeks, and I’ll look forward to having you visit!

  2. Gargi Mehra says:

    #2 is something I come up against quite often. I strive to make a deadline with a piece that doesn’t actually fit the requirements and it never works. Rather than get frustrated as I used to do, I have started to look harder at my deadlines and the work required, and do only what I can.

    In other news, I had an essay published in the latest issue of The Writer magazine, so that made my day (and week, month, year…)!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Oh, is there a link to the essay online? Would love to read it!

      1. julie says:

        I would too, Gargi – and congratulations!

        I just returned from a wedding in Boston. Breaking into my editor’s notes on my MS and starting the re-write. Ugh.

        1. GM says:

          Thanks, Erika and Julie! It’s available online now. Here’s the link:

          I would love to hear your feedback!

          1. Erika Dreifus says:

            Bookmarking to read later/slowly! Thanks for sharing.

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