Dawn Montgomery

May Goals, a Round of Words Update #ROW80

In #amwriting, Goals on May 10, 2015 at 10:00 am

ROW80LogocopyWow, I’ve been deep in writing and forgot to post! It’s going to take some time to get back into the habit, gang. Sorry about that!

Never fear…I am feverishly writing!

I’m participating in this year’s Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a self-paced writing challenge that helps you keep track of yourself in each quarter. They’re already two weeks into this round, but you can join any time. If you’d like to join them, HERE’S THE POST about ROW80. If you’d like to see who else is involved in this week’s update, check out the linky list HERE.

If you’d like to see my writing updates for this quarter, CLICK HERE for the complete list of posts.


May 10-17

I don’t do word count goals anymore. They’re intimidating when I have a hectic publishing schedule. It completely overwhelmed me last year, the sheer number of words I tried to write. Instead, I focus on how many Pomodoros it takes for me to get a book done.

A Pomodoro is a time management technique that uses a 25 minute on-task timer with a 5 minute break after. I write and/or edit for 7-15 hours a day. That’s a lot of poms! By breaking it down into manageable and focused chunks, I’m able to get a lot more done.

Dawn Montgomery

  • Write: Devil’s Due – 15 Poms
  • Edits: Freefall – 8 Poms
  • Readthrough: Freefall with beta readers – 4 Poms
  • Final Edits: Freefall – 8 Poms
  • Format: Freefall – 2 Poms (fingers crossed)
  • Publish: Freefall – 2 Poms
  • Write: House of Horrors – 24 Poms


  • 4 pages of rewrites by next check-in (3 Poms per page)
  • Outline A Wish Before Dying serial (I don’t time this since I do it when I’m in transit or watching TV with the family)


  • No goals this week


  • Write: one short title (3 Poms)

Jessica D. Russell (working with husband on this one)

  • Recipe Development for Cookbook (11 Poms)
    • Brainstorming
    • Cooking
      • Cooking fail?
      • Cook some more. LOL.
  • Formatting recipes and image for cookbook (15 Poms)

Total hours spent in the chair writing new content: 21 hours

Total hours spent in the chair working on rewrites and edits: 18 hours

Total hours spent working with my husband on his cookbook: 13 hours

Expected writing work week: 39 hours

Additional Time Scheduled during my normal family time (since that’s when we do our cooking): 13 hours

If you’d like to see May’s Goals/Projections and my Quarterly Goals/Update, please jump to the full post (“read more” tag below).

May’s Goals and Projections

Dawn Montgomery

  • Devil’s Due 70% done
  • Voodoo Carnival Serial finished
    • Madhouse, Episode 2: published 10 May
    • Freefall, Episode 3: currently finished and in edits (10 May)
    • House of Horrors, Episode 4: scheduled to write starting the 18th.
    • Voodoo Carnival boxed set release
    • Voodoo Carnival print release


  • Rewrite Last Rites
  • Holly Savage Serial started
    • Episode 1: Need to be 25% done by mid June
    • Episode 2: Finished by end of June
    • Episode 3: Finished by middle of July
    • Episode 4: Finished by end of July


  • Write new short story (<10k)


  • Write 4 short fiction titles this month
    • Number completed so far: 0 (as of 10 May)
    • Number remaining: 4

Jessica D. Russell

Quarter Goals

Finish books, launch the JDR Creatives website and brand, and get a handle on my writing schedule.

Books to finish

I have four active pennames. Dawn Montgomery you already know. One is an Urban Fantasy, science fiction, and dark fantasy writer. The other two are for short fiction in various genres. In May, I’ll be releasing a cookbook with my husband (from his recipe site), so I guess you can add nonfiction and another penname to that as well.

I adjusted the goals since last post.

Dawn Montgomery

  • Write: Devil’s Due (63k, 1/3 done already)
  • Write: Voodoo Carnival serial finished (Ep 1 and 2 are published. 3 is in edits. 4 will be written in a week, 10 May update)
  • Write: Rogue’s Bounty, a Spaceport: New Tortuga serial (Silver Tongued Devils spinoff) written and ready to launch in July

JW (urban fantasy, sci fi, and DF)

  • Edit and Publish: Last Rites
  • Write: A Wish Before Dying, a Holly Savage serial (50k)
    • Episode 1 written by mid-June, launch end of June
    • Episode 2 written by end of June

DM (short fiction writer)

  • Write: A single short work for a “best of 2015” collection (3-5k)
  • Write: A single short fantasy work for a new anthology (<10k)

RB (short fiction writer)

  • Write: 15 short fiction titles (3-10k words each, current count: 2)
  • Publish: 3 short story collections

Jessica D. Russell

  • Compile Two Cookbooks (with several cookbook exclusive recipes)
  • Develop a cookbook template (done 8 May)
  • Testing recipes
  • Formatting
  • Cover creation
  • Publishing
    • May
    • End of June for 4th of July

Total books written (completed) in the 2nd Quarter (10 May update)

  • Dawn Montgomery: 3
  • JW: 0
  • DM: 1
  • RB: 2
  • JDR: 0

Total books published in the 2nd Quarter (10 may update)

  • Dawn Montgomery: 1
  • JW: 0
  • DM: 1
  • RB: 2
  • JDR: 0
  1. Thanks for pointing me toward the Pomodoro method. You are very busy and unbelievably productive. I am impressed. Good luck from a ROW80 blog hoping friend.

  2. As always, a detailed and awesome check-in, Dawn. I like your refusal to use wordcounts as goals. I chose a time goal this Round too… and yeah, it is helping productivity. Hope it continues to do so for both of us.

  3. Okay, so you’re the second writer this week to reference the Pomodoro technique. I will have to try it and see how it works for me.

    Sounds like you have a very productive schedule. I applaud you for moving away from word-count goals. I go through periods where I track word count closely, and others where I just write daily and don’t worry about word count. So to this day I have no idea how many words I write on a yearly basis. I like that you’ve found another way to keep track.

    Happy writing, Dawn!

    • Good luck! I try to keep track of my word count through that excel sheet, but I only look at it at the end of the month or the end of the quarter now. I’m writing faster than I had before, but I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not stressed about every word, or because this book is so much fun to write. We’ll see when I kick start the next project in a week.

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