Pay yourself first
(especially in November)
Hello darlings -
So, it turns out that next week is November? How the fuck did that happen? I hope the last week of October is good as hell for you.
It is almost November, which means that it is almost AcWriMo! (!!)
What is AcWriMo? Academic Writing Month is a spin-off of National Novel Month (NaNoMo) and offers academics the opportunity to set bold goals to help you get shit done in a month that is generally the hardest of the semester. The entire point of this shit is to step up your game in November despite the hardness of it.
I’m not going to spend much time on my AcWriMo process as I’ve been pretty public about it in the past and you can follow along on other platforms if you want. If you want a supportive community to join, I’d recommend checking out Kelly Clancy’s Newsletter and AcWriMo group. Here are my 2022 goals and points and prizes (still a work in progress!) If it would be useful to you, here are my past AcWriMo goals/accountability: 2021 // 2020 // 2019 // 2018 // 2017* // 2016 // 2015 // 2014 *no goals in 2017 bc I was dealing with filing a case against my sexual harasser and it was the fucking WORST!
At it’s core, AcWriMo is about paying yourself first, because writing is the currency of most of our realms. I was just at the Women in Legislative Studies conference (SUCH a great time! So much cool research!) and had a great conversation around this - what does it actually mean to pay yourself first? And how do you actually fucking do it?!?
Paying yourself first means figuring out what activities you need to spend time on to progress in your career, goals, life, whatever.
That means that you need to figure out what activities get you to those goals. Like, right now - what are the big goals you want to make progress on? And what are the daily or weekly or monthly activities that will get you there?
Paying yourself first means often trading feeling good in the short term for feeling like a fucking badass in the long term.
For many of us, there is a natural contradiction because what feels good often isn’t what we actually need to spend time on to advance in our careers. It feels good to be on top of your inbox. It feels good to find *just* the right cartoon for your class slides. It feels good to be the person that other people can count on to do some dumb-ass service task. This great post rightly points out that this is patriarchy, keeping women busy and sad.
Maybe your job is “queen of the emails” and so doing that work also gets you to your goals. But probably, you want to be queen of the books or queen of APSR or queen of your department or queen of the fucking world and so you need to trade off those short-term good feels for activities that make you feel better in the long-term.
Paying yourself first means giving those activities prime booking in your life
In order to pay yourself first, you need to figure out when you are your absolute fucking best. For me, that’s first thing in the morning. For others, that’s after a workout and coffee. Others kick ass in the afternoon. Put your best stuff then! So - paying yourself first doesn’t actually mean first thing every day (but please, give it a shot!) but that you are saving your best possible self to make progress on your goals.
Paying yourself first means putting these important tasks on your calendar, to-do list, bullet journal, app, whatever FIRST
Find time for this shit first and then fill in the rest. Respect yourself. Stop throwing yourself away.