Dawn Montgomery

2013 Third Quarter Writing Challenge Begins

In #amwriting, Goals on July 3, 2013 at 4:53 am


The first and second quarters were full with Thunder and Roses. It was my first (and likely my last, collaboration or no) 100k novel. I learned a lot of lessons with that baby. While I still love the story, it’ll be another week or two before I can even look at it. The first quarter had a fantastic sale of Haunting Melody St. Claire to Ellora’s Cave Publishing. Its release on May 31st was awesome and wonderful. The reviews and bestseller numbers were too amazing for words. June was release month for an anthology under another penname. Totally awesome! There’s just something about the smell of a new print book in your hands. 😀

If you, too, are interested in setting your quarterly writing goals, Take a look at A Round of Words in 80 Days. Here’s their linky page if you’d like to see who else has taken the plunge.

ROW80LogocopyWe’re in the second half of the year and a new Round of Words in 80 days has begun. July’s Camp NaNoWriMo is also in full swing. There are a thousand submission calls, writing challenges, summer events, and author workshops. Prioritizing means I won’t get overwhelmed. Since we’re in the middle of summer break, I have to make a few changes to my writing schedule.

My new writing week:


Admin work. Websites. Blogs. Financial documents. All the boring and drab stuff.


Wake-up to 1700 Writing on primary project

1900-2200 Writing on novella

Of course I break for lunch and go do things with the kids. We’ll go swimming or watch a show together. Usually in the evenings. I’m very firm on the writing til 1700 part. If I don’t respect my writing day, who will?


When I wake up – 1700 if I’m behind on the primary project

Otherwise, it’s freewrite with no set schedule so I can spend time with my family as needed. I miss them as much as they miss me, and trust me, by Saturday I’m ready to kill off all my characters. We need the break. 🙂

For those who follow along, here’s my list of goals for the next quarter (if you find the writing stuff boring, feel free to follow my author website and/or my facebook page):


  • Finish Voodoo Carnival novella for Carina Halloween submission* (missed the date for the submission. 😦 )
  • After Voodoo Carnival, move into finishing Silver Tongue Devils novella
  • Write and submit short story for Cleis Press call (maybe both calls I’m interested in, if my freewrite weekends go well :D)*  Private Cowboy: done and submitted 15 July
  • Spirit Lake (Alaskan Shaman series)* – This book is my NaNoWriMo goal. 🙂
  • Thunder and Roses edits, synopsis, and submission** done and submitted 21 July
  • Feral Hunger edits, synopsis, and submission


  • Whatever I didn’t finish in July
  • Supersekritproject pulp novel (freewrite weekends)***
  • Dark Talisman 2 edits, beta read, formatted, packaged up for publication**
  • Kitchen Witch Red Velvet novella for Christmas* – Due to my editor by September 1st
  • Chapter One polished up and edited within an inch of its life on SYTYCW contest for Harlequin


  • Submit Chapter One on SYTYCW contest for Harlequin*
  • Kitchen Witch vampire novella
  • Yeah, like I NEED another project here, but EC does have a 2014 Submission call*** I want to hit up…

 Ditter Kellen and I mapped our writing schedule (always fluid) to the end of the summer. I’m not sure what we’ll have planned for the fall. She’s a very busy lady. This list will likely change often throughout the ROW80.

Can I do it? Who knows! One word at a time. I’ll tell you by the end of July. 😀

Keep Writing

xoxo, Dawn

* Books that have specific deadline

** Books with Ditter Kellen

***Under another penname

  1. OMG! So many pies! How do you have enough fingers for all of them?

    1) This is my first time visiting your site (got here through ROW80 linky), and I LOVE the title of the blog: “The Write Way, My Way.” Haha!

    2) I am amazed by your ability to write for 8 hours a day. Do you write for 4 hours straight at a time or in 2-hour blocks or in 30-minute increments or…? Did you have to work up to being able to write that many hours in a day, or did it just come naturally to you?

    Thank you for sharing not only your goals but also your process/schedule with us!

    • LOL! Thank you so much for the love of the title. I transitioned from full time military to full time writer so the hours didn’t seem strange to me, but it was hard to figure out how to manage my time. Before I started writing full-time, I would snatch an hour here or there and be thankful, but with all the hours available, I kind of panicked (I also thought I could write 100 more novels and novellas a year with all these hours! Um. No.).

      I’ll tell you some things I learned.

      1. I can only write for 20 minutes at a time without my mind wandering (and my back hurting from an old injury). So…I set a timer using Online Stopwatch. After my 20 minutes are up, I check my word count and get up and move a bit (5-10 minutes). Or I jot down some notes about how I did and what I wanted to happen in the next writing session. If I haven’t written

      2. I take actual breaks for lunch. Not at my desk. This is important. If I start spending all my time at my desk, I’ll lose track of my writing day and it’s all downhill. I’ve also found that I need the time away from the computer to think back on the writing and prepare for the next round.

      3. There are days where the words won’t come. Or I can’t sit at all (back problems). Or an all day appointment comes up. The list goes on. For those days I do what I can, document how I’ve spent my time, and send my current work in progress to my kindle to read through. It gives me a chance to take notes on issues I normally wouldn’t notice on the computer screen. When it’s on my ereader, a different part of my brain kicks in and I get lost in the story.

      4. Build up to a full day of writing. Nothing kills writing time more than being two hours in and then realizing you have no idea where to go from here. I have to think about what I’m going to do for the day, focusing on the scenes I want to tackle. Each session is filled with just that scene and nothing else. At the end of the time, you’ll have burned through 20-30 minutes of that writing day. Before you know it, the day is done.

      5. Expect interruptions, but protect your writing time. If you say you’re going to write until 5pm write until 5 (respect your own writing time, first. Don’t go and lose yourself in games…cough…like me…cough). If you take time off, tell the family. Once those around you, virtually and physically, realize you will not do any extra work until after 5pm (or whatever time you choose), they’ll start to see it as a regular thing and not get upset. Forcefully, and kindly remind them that it’s your writing time. If they say…but you’re right there…ask them this…if I was working at, say, Pizza Hut (my kids love this place and noticed several times how busy everyone was), would you call me to tell me you found this really awesome thing on youtube that I have to watch? The argument may be that it’s different because you’re in the same room, etc, but gently remind them that it is their PERCEPTION of you working that’s flawed. When you come to interrupt me (online, by phone, etc.), think about that. If someone calls to talk and wants you to do something, tell them you’ll get to it after 5 (again, whatever time you say your day ends). They may argue, but if you stand firm, eventually they’ll come to understand that you won’t be bothered until after 5.

      Life, limb or eyesight. My kids know, now, only those three things drag me out of the office (tears or lots of laughter as well, but shhh don’t tell them that). At the same time, I make sure I get up and walk around during my breaks. I’ve made a habit of checking on each of the kids and my husband (and the furkids), seeing how they’re doing, touching base with my husband’s work (he runs a recipe website) and/or playing a game for fifteen minutes in the middle of the day with them. Each time they know I’m stopping by to check on them but will get back to work, so they’ve come to expect momma’s check-ins. I also take them swimming, watch a movie, play some games, or read with them after my work day so they know I’m just as happy to see them as they are me. When school was in session, the evenings would be when I’d help them with homework as well. It also sets a precedence. They expect that fun starts after the work is done (the same thing I’d always told them while I was in the military). So, while my job location changed, the discipline still remains. That way they’ll (hopefully) be better prepared for their own jump into the crazy wild world.

      It’s not for everyone. My kids are old enough to keep themselves occupied. We have tons of arts and crafts supplies so the sky’s the limit. There are days where it just doesn’t work (and I DO get frustrated), but it beats me having to write at night while everyone is asleep so I wouldn’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings. The entire family missed me, I missed them, and my husband took the brunt of it all.

      I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any questions!

      Keep Writing!

      • Thanks for sharing your process, Dawn! 20-minute sprints with short breaks in between seems very healthy. And it also sounds like you have a close-knit, supportive family. And good boundary-setting skills. ;*) I quit my job last fall to be a full-time writer and freelance editor; I’m still in the process of finding a schedule/routine that works for me. This gives me some good ideas.

  2. […] original goals post has been updated with my success. The first item has been been checked off my list. Too […]

  3. […] have been sent to our editor. Time to celebrate! WOOHOO! I’ve already updated my original 3rd Quarter’s Goal post with the strike through and date completed. It’s so nice to be back on track. Fingers crossed […]

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