Eddie, I Hate You–10 Ways To Focus on a Plan (A Guide to Keeping Lists, Journals and Notes)

Publishing Eddie, I Hate You. A Memoir By Rachel Ganz is one of those projects that I suddenly pushed GO on because it needed to finally happen.

I do a lot of things Suddenly because they Finally need to happen.

Your average dictionary might call that Impulsivity.

I call it planning. All of my plans happen as quickly as possible. Otherwise, they won’t get done.

I plan every day. Obsessively. Is any of it logical? I am still not sure. In any case, my life is designed by me. It’s hardly impulsive.

Every life on Earth follows a pattern.

My life is a pattern of anxious lulls, depressed paralysis and then finally hyperactive goal setting.

Officially, it’s bi-polar with a side of panic disorder.

Unofficially, it’s my life and I get through it because I am awesome.

Great news: Even if you feel like all you can do right now is lie on a rug and pet it with your face repeatedly until you’re convinced that it is a live animal who loves you, you are potentially as awesome as I am, maybe even more awesome (hard to say because I do not know you).

I have faith in you.

I have faith. in everyone.

I decided to keep that faith. along time ago because it helps my social anxiety. to believe that a good percentage of our species is, at least subtly, intent on a collective greatness.

Altruistic? hmmm. That’s a high bar. But, we are at least, I believe, planning to be good.

If you aren’t in touch with your plans, great. Welcome to your guide to making and keeping a plan.

I swear by keeping journals.

DO NOT ROLL YOUR EYES YET.

There are many many types of journals.

All of them are fun for me.

At least one of them will be fun for you.

If you don’t think you have time, grab a pen and paper and plan the time it takes.

No matter how much chaos we feel right now, you can manage your time.

Time control is possible. All you have to do is decide on a self-definition of time that works for you and then you can manage..

You are managing.

Write it down. Feel good about it. Laugh at the chaos and let it laugh at you

1. Record Keeping

Perfect for: The Journalist. The person who believes that one day someone will find this notebook and they will need to know WHAT HAPPENED.

This labour looks best in a sizeable notebook. I like those Harriet The Spy black and white notebooks you can get at the dollar store. The cheaper the better because you will legit be listing everything that you do in a day.

To begin, I give my starting day the number 1-1. The first 1 connotes the year. The second 1 connotes the day. As in: This is the first day of the first year that I am recording.

Often times I fall off the wagon and then pick back up months later in a new notebook so I have actually never made it past year 1.

As you record, give each recording a number and write down every single thing you did today.

It will look like this:

1-1-1 wake up

1-1-2 wash my face

1-1-3 sit on the floor in the closet

That third, final number is the task count of the day.

Tomorrow will be 1-2. The first thing. you do will. be1-2-1. It will be great.

I keep it basic and that way, if I need inspiration for writing later on, I have a list of actions to fall back on. I can revisit this recording and let any of these points be a prompt for my day’s work.

2. Bullet Journaling

Perfect For: IF you love to study your own behaviour and/or if you love to make beautiful things.

Bullet journals can be so beautiful but mine are pretty basic. I design a chart that can track my day. I try and use the same one every day but it’s always evolving.

In my bullet journal I track the time of day I wake, sleep, the amount of water I drink, the things I accomplished in a day, gratitude….all kinds of things.

Bullet journals are fun. They take time. They are meditative. They are collectable. I really recoomend this if you have anxiety, specifically if you have aniety about your creativity.

3. Long form Stream Of Conscious

Perfect for: beat poets, wild minds and anyone who is excited to write.

Most of my journals are for this kind othing: Put your pen to paper and just write write write blah blah blah no censoring no whatever no junk no no….you get it.

I find that, if I write enough, I get the mind-junk out of my way, almost like I’m vacuuming it up, I start to hear the important things. I usually move straight from this to my writing project or I find inspiration for blog posts, social media, media art.

This form of writing is really important artists. It gives physical presence to our ideas.

I fill notebooks. You can write on scrap. Either way. Try it out.

4. Letter Writing

Perfect for: If you can’t get started.

When I’m blocked, I title my page with someone’s name and I write them a letter. Sometimes I fill entire notebooks dedicated to people who need to hear about a thing that’s on my mind.

This form of journaling is incredibly cathartic. I like it because it feels secretive and indulgent, like I’m accessing something that only this one person gave me that, in their absence, I feel I have lost.

It’s a re-claiming.

It’s beautiful.

5. Idea Sketching

Perfect for: The non-writer.

Ok, so you’re not a writer but…are you a primate?

All primates have ideas. The best part about being human is our extensive communication tool belt. If you want a clearer window into your brain but you’re not so keen on language, try drawing it. Charts, pictures, large versions of your favourite word. See where it gets you.

I use this method a lot for work because often times I am designing a story about something boring and I have a hard time gaining energy for the task.

Drawing things on paper helps me see the assets that I’m working with, stripping them of their unique properties and getting me back to what I love: writing, crafting, molding stories. Once I see the pieces, I forget that I don’t really care about (work thing) and I can get deep into idea-spinning on storytelling strategy.

5. To Dos and Need To Dos

Perfect for: Everyone.

If you don’t keep a to do list, are you a genie?

Grab a tiny notepad, friend.

Yes, we all have phones and phones have task lists but a note pad is going to stay open on your desk, staring at you. The screen never goes dark. You never lose sight of your TO DOS and NEED TO DOs, you can check what you’ve done, remind yourself about the little things and at the end of the day you have this piece of paper that congratulates you ror your focus.

I don’t want to call my to do list my friend but…..it’s actually more communicative than a lot of people I’ve met in my life so I’m just going to call it my friend and expect that you know what I mean.

7. Guided Journal

Perfect for: Everyone.

I love guided journals. I wake up every morning and spend a half hour indulging. I don’t need to think about what to write, I don’t need to be creative, I just answer the questions and remind myself that I am capable of positive thinking.

These books are fabulous for getting away from your own guidance.

If you need a recommendation, DM me.

8. Calendar Scribbles

Perfect for: Everyone.

OMG what day is it?

Exactly.

Get your feet on the ground. Get a calendar.

You aren’t doing Nothing. You’re doing You. Write it on the day, as the day is happening. Remember that you have a presence in this time, in this place. Give yourself credit.

I usually get these for free from my mom’s house (stolen,, free….same thing) or I just draw my own for the month.

9. Phone Notes

Perfect for: The person who has read this entire article and is still like “No.”

I don’t usually carry more than one notebook with me and typically that one notebook is way too big to pop out of my bag just because I heard someone say something amazing.

My phone notes are really a record of all the things i can’t write down. Super useful and always entertaining when I go through them.

Phone notes are also always legible which is bonus.

10. Scrap Pages

Perfect for: The person who would rather not use a notebook or maybe there are just no notebooks around.

What you don’t see here is my desk littered with paper that says “TOMORROW I WILL CLEAN THE SHOWER FLOOR”.

There is no shame in loose paper.

Lots of people use loose paper for their journals because they prefer to throw things away. Some people like to scribble by hand and then type up what they have written. Go for it. You’re in charge of your writing’s form. I like when my writing sits on a shelf like trophies and yes, you’re right, I have never ever won. atrophy in my life.

For the writing, editing. and production go Eddie, I Hate. You I have used all of these methods of journaling.

SOON, you can find more info about where to get your copy on this blog (subscribe!) or my Facbeook page.

Have fun today. Get writing. Get drawing. Get into your head and find a way to make and keep plans for your best ideas. We need them. I need them, at last.

Thank you, as always for reading.

Be well, be brave,

-Rachel

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