Dawn Montgomery

Fourth Quarter Goals and Why You Shouldn’t Panic

In #amwriting, Goals on October 8, 2013 at 2:27 am

PWCicon2Welcome to the Fourth Quarter edition of the 2013 Round of Words in 80 Days. For those new to the ROW80 crowd, this amazing event is so encouraging! You set your own goals (check out the rules post here) and update twice a week.

It’s the Fourth Quarter of 2013. I have to tell you this year has been a roller coaster of major highs and lows. There was a time where I’d look at the fourth quarter and panic. I didn’t get all the stuff done I wanted and there’s not enough time left to get it all done!!!

Cue chicken running around with its head cut off, mad cackling while simultaneously pulling out all my hair, and then staring at my family, friends, and crit partners with a wide-eyed stare and a creepy smile. I think I would say something like…”No it’s okay, sleep is overrated and I know I can write 10k a day for 90 days without going insane.”

LOL. Those days are over, because here’s the real deal.

Your brain has to function in all capacities. That means you must use the right brain and left brain to keep yourself on track. Your creative side, the side you use to create your stories, is like hot water from the tap. It can run for a while, but eventually (for most) the heat (passion) gets used up. When that happens, you’ve got to let that part refill and reheat (the same can be said for those who use the analytical side while ignoring the creative one). Does it go away? No, but you have to refill it. You also need the non-creative side to keep you on a schedule, but that’s another post.

Our biggest problems as writers involve a lack of realistic expectation. I’m the world’s worst, but I’ve learned a trick to keep my heart and mind happy. Let me share it with you.

I have two sets of goals.

  1. The stuff I have to get done.
  2. The additional stuff I want to get done.

The stuff I have to get done is usually the top two or three spots of my goal lists. The rest is just gravy (an addition to a southern meal that makes it go from good to soul-happy comfort food).

So I encourage you to pick a measurable goal (Six chapters of SuperChef and the Revenge of the Kentucky Fried Ninjas) and stick with it. Every day, if possible, work on that goal (even if you’re just jotting down a note about it).

I’m going to lay out my goal plan the way I always do so you can see what I mean.

A Round of Words in 80 Days 4th Quarter Goals for 2013

  1. *Edit, format, and publish Shift the Night for a Veteran’s Day release.
  2. *NaNoWriMo workshop here on the blog.
  3. *Finish and Submit Feral Hunger
  4. *Co-written book written and ready to submit by Christmas
  5. *A set of short stories finished and published by Halloween.
  6. Polish up (and update) another novella I wrote back in 2008. Submit it for publication as soon as it’s ready.
  7. A Familiar Kiss (fifth time trying to write this book) NaNoWriMo
  8. Dragons Never Lie finished and submitted.
  9. Silver Tongue Devils (maybe) written and submitted.
  10. Begin writing Sabian
  11. Enraptured finished and submitted
  12. Start planning aspects of book 2 with Ditter Kellen in the Thunder and Roses Universe.

*Note* Those with an * denotes hard deadlines. Things I HAVE to get done by a specific date. 

Expected non-writing moments for the final quarter

  1. My oldest son’s birthday was today!!!
  2. Halloween is a three-timer: My second oldest daughter’s birthday, the kickoff for NaNoWriMo and one of my favorite holidays. 😀
  3. Thanksgiving and Christmas. Enough said.
  4. NaNoWriMo insanity and rebellion (from my family mostly).
  5. More classes on the horizon.
  6. Book launch, formatting, etc.

Book Release Schedule (as of 8 October)

  1. That Magic Touch, a short story collection – October
  2. Shift the Night, Dark Talisman #2 – November 11th
  3. Red Velvet Christmas: Hidden Confection – December 6th
  4. *Deep Cravings – unknown
  5. *Thunder and Roses – January 2014

Breakdown by Month

Here’s where I get a little more specific.


  • Finish, edit, format, and publish That Magic Touch
  • Finish, edit (and submit to editors) Shift the Night
  • Finish and submit Feral Hunger
  • Finish and submit Dragons Never Lie


  • Whatever I don’t  finish in October
  • Publish Shift the Night
  • A Familiar Kiss
  • Silver Tongue Devils
  • Enraptured started up again


  • Whatever I don’t finish in November
  • Finish co-written novel
  • Hash out new novel with Ditter Kellen
  • Start Sabian
  • Sleep. I think. LOL!

Several of these books above are partials, so please don’t think I’m starting from scratch on all of them. It, does, however, mean my days and nights will be wholly devoted to writing and writing-specific tasks.

  1. Go your for goal awesomeness! Best of luck.. that’s one long list, although it’s good that you know lots is gravy (UK spread this all over a Sunday Roast and it’s made with meat juices – yum!). X

  2. […] Quarter of 2013. We’re in the home stretch. I’ve got less than three months left. My fourth quarter goals are pretty intense, but there’s a reason for this. I promise. January starts a new round of […]

  3. I like the specificity of your goals, especially how you’ve divided them out over the three months — allowing for the temporary insanity of family, holidays, and runaway reality. Good on you!

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