Pay yourself first. I heard this advice the first time years ago about financial matters. My husband and I were newlyweds with two incomes. A friend of his needed people to practice his financial spiel upon.
We volunteered, thinking it would be an evening that could have been better spent. Instead, we heard life-changing news. Pay yourself first.
The financial planner said that to get ahead and look to the future, you have to set money aside before you pay your bills or do any other spending. That simple advice stuck with us, and we took it to heart.
Recently, I realized I need to apply that concept to my writing. With a few books out, a few in the hopper, and more burning to get out, distractions abound.
Some days I can spend two to three hours answering my email, visiting the blogs of friends, or sending out a few words here and there in cyberspace. But if I do that first, I lose track of my quality hours of writing – those muse-happy first hours of the day.
On those dilly-dallying days, my writing goal of 1,000 words a day on the new book might as well be a million words. I can’t get it done.
How many of us have said that?
How many of us repeat that sentiment frequently?
Pay yourself first means to take a view of the big picture. You want to keep releasing books? You have to write them first. Put those words in the story bank. Build for your future.
I’ve had to be more rigid about social media hours in the morning. I still check my email – heck there might be a contract in my inbox, ya know? – but if there isn’t something of life-shattering urgency there, I shut down the email program. I’m not allowed to turn it on again until the daily word count is done.
No Facebook or other programs either.
Pay yourself first means being disciplined about your writing time. It means keeping that long-term goal visible instead of getting caught up in the social media whirl. Sure, the online stuff is fun. Sure, those people are good friends, but they won’t mind if you “Like” their posts or make witty remarks a few hours later.
New: Murder in the Buff and Death, Island Style
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