Why You Should Pay Yourself First As A Writer

Work on the most important thing first

Andrew Macrae
3 min readMay 13, 2020


Photo by Mirza Babic on Unsplash

One of the recurring themes in the personal finance books I’ve read is:

Pay yourself first.

This means that you set aside 10 per cent of every pay for yourself. Before you pay anyone else, put that 10 per cent into a savings account.

Scott Pape in the Barefoot Investor (affiliate link) calls this your ‘mojo account’.

When you watch your savings grow, you create a buffer against the exigencies of the world.

When you have a healthy mojo account, you are more confident, because you know an unexpected bill is not going to wipe you out.

You’re no longer living from pay to pay.

You’ve built up a stock of mojo.

But I started thinking:

What if you could apply this concept to other parts of your life?

Work on the most important thing first

My goal at the moment is to write one blog post a day.

I don’t always hit “publish” every day, but I’m writing for myself every day.

The way I achieve this is to “pay myself first”:

I write my post first thing in the morning, before anyone else can make a claim on my time.

I don’t check my email. I don’t look at my social media feeds. I just sit down and write my article.

From there, anything else I get done during the day is a bonus.

I can spend time with my family or work on other things, secure in the knowledge that I’ve met my daily goal for what’s most important to me right now.

What happens when you do this

I’ve noticed that as I’ve been doing this, the word count in my word bank has been growing. I’ve got nearly 30,000 words of well-organized, carefully written content that did not exist three weeks ago.

I can feel my confidence increasing and my fear decreasing.



Andrew Macrae

Freelance writer and editor. Sign up for my newsletter about writing, freelancing and whatever is worrying me https://tinyletter.com/Andrew_Macrae