Content Strategy & Marketing Copy & Cats

Words

I haven’t seen a movie in weeks. Last night I did go to bed at 9 pm, even though I stayed up until 3. Oops. I wish I didn’t feel the need to go deep into every single conversation or interaction. It’s not going to happen, and it’s not even something I should be striving towards anyway. Yesterday, I completed a course on copywriting, and the professor, Ian Lurie, was fucking awesome & said some gems like:

  • Provide value in the form of a return on time invested. 

He was passionate about writing and believed great marketing delivers value to people when they most need it, period. Unfortunately, I find it’s rarely so.

  • A lot of folks think marketing copywriting isn’t a creative art. They think it’s some kind of mechanical, formulaic discipline where creative writers go to die. That is so wrong.

I felt personally attacked. I did giggle though. And I do believe the last sentence is inherently true so, in Biggie’s words, it’s all good baby baby.

  •  Direct marketing copywriting is an art in and of itself. It also gets a bad rap, because most direct marketing is so awful. But great marketing delivers values to those who need it when they need it.

It is extremely awful and disrespectful, most times. However, those other times make it all worth it.

Mondays

Gratefulness

I’m about to cook some gnocchi and pass out on the couch by 9PM, but I’ve committed to this writing every day no matter what thing, so I’ll try. I’ve noticed that when I meditate first thing in the morning, and get my writing done early, I can have such a peaceful rest of the day without having to worry whether I’ll get the time, or make the time, or if I’ll have to lie to my meditation tracking app once again. Shhhh.

So lesson of the day/week: do it early.

Also, if you do it early, you’re more likely to do it well.

Also, don’t doubt yourself.

Also, keep finding joy in the little things. And the big things. And all the things. You’re doing amazing sweetie.

Bittersweet Realization on Elderly People

Food for thought

I’m by the beach, enjoying my morning coffee & this lovely breeze & the 90s music that is playing. At the moment, my friends aren’t here so I’m enjoying my time alone. I scrolled on my phone and wrote for a bit on my notebook.

Then was just enjoying the view and the moment, the stripped beach umbrellas, the tiny palm trees, the glowy sand, the parachute up in the sky and the person in it probably having the time of their life.

And the elderly (seemingly) couple next to me. They seemed to be enjoying the moment as well, especially each others company and the conversation.

sonder: the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own

Unsplash photo

My notes- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Psychology

My notes on Cal Newport’s Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, who says one of the most valuable skills in our economy is becoming increasingly rare and if you master this skill, you’ll achieve extraordinary results. I had to see for myself.


To disagree with Freud in the 1920s was a bold move. To disagree with Freud in the 1920s was a bold move.

Jung retreated to Bollingen, not to escape his professional life, but instead to advance it.

Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.

“Although he had many patients who relied on him, Jung was not shy about taking time off.” Deep work, though a burden to prioritize, was crucial for his goal of changing the world.

Photo by Abele Gigante on Unsplash

Simple Not Easy

A penny for your thoughts

A minimalist writing zone, where you can block out all distractions and get to what’s important. The writing!

To get started, all you need to do is delete this text (seriously, just highlight it and hit delete), and fill the page with your own fantastic words. You can even change the title!

——————————————————-

Hello world, meet my favorite online writing space. Anything simplistic makes me feel SO satisfied. It’s one of those feelings you can’t explain to people who aren’t familiar with it already. I love when things and stories and people and situations are simple. I don’t mean easy, I actually have some unresolved internal conflict surrounding the concept of easiness. Plausibly driven by that quote:

Nothing worth having comes easy.

Or to be correct, my takeaway from it, nothing easy is worth having. Which is obviously not always the case. I mean, my coffee maker is pretty easy to use, and its product is worth having, several times a day. I got that coffee maker from my best friend, and having a good time with her is easy, and so worth it.

As I was saying, I like simple things, finding patterns, being able to make some sense out of what’s happening. As Nirvava was singing saying,

♪ Come as you are ♪

Fortunately, my psychology background has fulfilled my needs regarding learning why people act/think the way they do.

It’s also given me one of the most valuable lessons: we are all extremely similar, in that we are all very unique. Human thinking is so incredibly varied, that frequently our individuality surpasses mathematical calculations, years of research, and those that want to pin us down to something definite.

Something finite.

More often that I’d like to admit I struggle with dichotomic thinking. I’m admitting it now, so that counts as progress, hopefully. We should allow others to act differently from the figure we’ve created in our minds for them. Allow them to not meet and exceed expectations, on the same day. Allow people to show you themselves, which can’t happen if you’ve already made up your mind about who they are.

Now, what’s new, to relate this to psychology..

I understand, grouping mental health patients into categories such as disorders makes sense. However, I strongly feel we should be using diagnostic manuals and diseases classifications as rough guidelines, not considering them the end-all be-all.

Allowing the easiness and accessibility of a label to cloud our judgment, professionalism, and humanity can create a hostile environment, treatment plans that are at worst harmful, at best not helpful, and patients being misdiagnosed for years. Sometimes by several practitioners, which means they weren’t receiving the help they needed during all that time. That breaks my fucking heart.

The person in front of you is so complex, there’s so much more to them than meets the eye, or DSM, or ICD. Their experiences are way greater than your metric of choice will ever know.

Love,

Simply,

D

Dallas Clayton artwork image

10 Hacks That Will Change Your Life (Or Positively Affect It)

Drinks, Gratefulness, Meditation, Psychology
Meditate

You can start with as little as a minute or 10 breaths, then gradually move your way up. Over the years, a great number of studies have shown numerous benefits to meditation: a sense of calmness, better sleep, more self-confidence, less anxiety etc. The best thing about meditation is that all you need is you, no books or retreats or teachers to nourish the most important relationship of your life: the one with your inner self. As Nayyirah Waheed said:

I love myself is the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution. ever.

Drink water

Especially first thing when you wake up. After sleep, we’re all dehydrated and that glass of water may seem meaningless, but it really starts the day on the right foot for your body, mind, digestion… You can flavor it with fruits, lemon, mint or whatever strikes your fancy for some extra tastiness. Yes, I’m one of the people that think water has taste and a great one for that matter. Fight me and my superior taste buds.

Skip breakfast

No matter how much of a breakfast-dreader you might be, you knew that couldn’t be a real hack. Breakfast is important- you know it, I know it, the people at Dunkin Donuts know it… Your brain works better, your body responds faster, you’re prone to make healthier food choices, you won’t have any crashes afterward. Win win win. Extra hack: My friend who works ungodly hours for KLM, the Royal Dutch Airlines, makes a batch of pancakes to go through the week, so she has something to look forward to. 10/10 recommended.

Moving

Yes, working out releases endorphins, the happiness hormone, but even just moving around your house/office, or taking a walk outside is enough to trigger a similar response. It’s extremely beneficial to your productivity, mental clarity and mood.

Simple, effective gratefulness method

I’m as wary as the next person when it comes to studies found online, seeing as you’re in the dark about who might have sponsored the research, how scientific the methods used are and whether the actual findings are actually applicable and/or beneficial in real life. However, I’m always on the lookout for claims that certain behaviors will make us lead a happier life. I came across happiness researcher Shawn Achor, who’s worked with Google, large financial companies, conducted studies in Harvard, UPS, etc., aka trustworthy, who shared his findings on 5 non-time-consuming happiness habits.

My favorite was writing down three (different) things you’re grateful for, 21 days in a row. I shared my own three things I’m grateful for a while back. Why it works you’re ~actively~ training your brain to look for positives. You’ll be a ray of sunshine in no time (your friends might get worried at first).

Adjust accordingly
Make a conscious effort to include activities you enjoy in your everyday life. Cliché as it sounds, you do only live once. Rules do not apply if you’re a cat or believe in reincarnation.
Image result for what you like what you don't change accordingly dallas clayton
Compliment others
Kind words cost nothing. Kind words cost nothing. Nothing. This “hack” is low cost- little to no effort/time; high reward- you might put a smile on someone’s face, make them feel more confident, make their day…
More purposefully directed attention
Only a small percentage of our time online is spent mindfully and purposefully. See how checking the news/social media frequently makes you feel and whether it adds any real value to your life. This is an important read.
Say yes/no more often

Advice at its finest. Some quotes I’ve come across often lately:

  1. all advice is a form of nostalgia
  2. all advice is autobiographical

Indian food? Spanish literature? Jazz music? You might be missing out because you refuse to give new things a try. On the other hand, you might be finding yourself agreeing to go to that Jazz club you strongly dislike, for the 3rd weekend in a row, just because you can’t say no to your friends. Boundaries are your friend. While stepping outside your comfort zone is crucial for growth, treat your needs and desires and time and self with the respect they deserve.

Look on the bright side
Is there anything remotely positive about your fucked up situation? Any lesson you’ve learned that you’ll cherish forever? Aren’t you proud of at least one thing you did during the stressful situation? Last night The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (5/5) was on tv, and I’ll close with one of my favorite quotes that it reminded me of:
“For what it’s worth… it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Photo by J-S Romeo on Unsplash

Never Fail to Put a Smile on My Face

Gratefulness, Meditation

I heard the following sentences during a guided meditation some time ago, and I wrote them down in my notebook. The teacher (I can’t remember who it was for the life of me, but I’ll link them once I do) used a pretty simplistic language, but I felt so deeply affected by these words and their power of me. They inspired me to do better and more and trust the process and myself. I’ve read them at different times of my life and they never fail to bring joy and a smile to my face, hope they do the same to you.

The more you give attention to what you don’t want, the more you get what you don’t want.

The Universe has at its disposal powers that we can’t begin to understand.

The Universe has no schedule.

No prayer, no desire goes undone.

What you want, will come to you.

Sometimes you beat the postcard home from vacation, but it always arrives. This is what manifestation is all about.

What you want is speeding towards you.

Our Universe is truly magical. How blessed you feel to be part of something so magical.

Gratitude fills your being for all the lessons you’ve learned.
"Fight Tyranny sign with Trump's face on it in the basket of a bicycle" by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

Coffee Shop Thoughts 4: Why Trump Sucks

Food for thought

~admittedly, a modest headline~

Going to cute cafés to get work done + My thoughts = Coffee Thoughts Shop.  Join me on this journey to caffeine poisoning and success (hopefully not both).

One Two Three

A loved one had a dream involving Trump and my immediate response was asking whether they punched him. Are you familiar with the expression spill the tea? Well, I was drinking tea and spilled it when they said they like Trump more than Obama, that they like Trump period. Deep deep down I knew, but hearing it said so bluntly was something, alright. I said I had read and heard so many horrible things about what Trump says and does and thinks that I was no longer able to put it in a few sentences.

Turns out I lied, because here I am now, writing on 10 reasons why Trump sucks. I’ll stick with what comes to mind like I would in a tête-à-tête conversation, with no further research done (also, because if I were to include every horrible/hateful thing he’s done, we’d here a while.)

If you’re reading (which you are because I’ll show this to you), this one’s for you.

  1. He’s been accused of sexual assault by several women. Seeing how false rape accusations account for only 2% of overall accusations, I have reason to believe AT LEAST ONE of them wasn’t lying.
  2. He didn’t condemn Charlottesville’s protest, where “protesters” shouted things like “Jews will not replace us”, a Nazi drove into the crowd with his car, a woman was killed, hundreds injured. All he said was that there are sides to each story, and some of the protesters were very fine people. He sided with violence and racism and antisemitism and hate.
  3. He didn’t help Puerto Rico, while the people there were suffering and dying, he tweeted passive aggressive things and later wrote “helping Puerto Rico cost the US a lot”. What does that mean?! Puerto Rico IS the US! You have enough funds to start a nuclear war and build a wall, but not help those in need? When he did eventually go there, he was disrespectful as he threw paper towels at them and laughed.
  4. He made fun of a disabled reporter who asked him a question, in national television. In what world is that okay, I don’t know. It’s beyond me how someone that is expected to be the leader and role model of millions can be such a fucking awful human.
  5. His view on women is clear: they’re lesser than, and we only speak of what’s documented (tapes, recordings, tweets). (Un)fortunately, there’s plenty of those. He has commented on different women looks, what he’d do to them (you know-grab them by the pussy), how he might just take one of his friends over to steal people’s partners, how he would DATE HIS DAUGHTER if she wasn’t his, ya know, daughter. Hm, what else what else?
  6. In a trial, he called a woman who asked for a break to breastfeed DISGUSTING. How is the most natural thing ever disgusting? Is it because breasts are disgusting if they’re not being sexualized?
  7. He once asked how could we expect Hillary to satisfy America if she couldn’t satisfy her husband. Now, never in a million years would we expect (or even justify) similar behavior from Obama.
  8. He called New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS, CNN fake news. Yes, all of them. Now, what are the chances of that, realistically speaking?
  9. He DOESN’T BELIEVE in climate change (or know the difference between HPV and HIV), and is overall anti-science. Within moments of Trump’s inauguration, nearly all references to climate change disappeared from the White House official website. “Trump has an appalling ignorance of the current world, of history, of previous American engagement, of what former Presidents thought and did” Geoffrey Kemp, who worked at the Pentagon during the Ford Administration and Reagan Administration, told The New Yorker.
  10. He once said “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”.

You can find all of these, and more, online. Easily. Please do and stop supporting people that stand against everything we believe in.

Photo by Alexandra on Unsplash

Truth

A penny for your thoughts

You’ll trust people and you won’t question their intentions because they seem pure and fun. You’ll them about everything you’re looking for, what you appreciate and what you hate and they’ll turn themselves into the person you wanted them to be. During all that time, you’ll be thinking it’s who they were in the first place. You will try to be that generous in sharing your self again. In a world of undefined truths and lies, you’ll struggle to recognize which parts were theirs to begin with, and which they stole from you.

You’ll try to remember what was it that you said. as it the tone you said it in, the look you gave when you did? You’ll never remember, there was nothing to remember in the first place. Bad people don’t need a trigger, they will actively seek and find evil anywhere, just as good people passively see beauty and virtue and goodness, in the little thing and in others and in the world. It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t your fault. It’s not your fault. Never will be.

“Tell them I was the warmest place you knew and you turned me cold.”

Well, shit, tried to, motherfucker.

Photo by Alexandra on Unsplash

♪ You said you’d die for me! Give to me, give to me! Why won’t you live for me?! ♪

You’ll remember them saying they’d do anything for you, however, when given the chance…

Them saying they’re willing to give you the world, however, unable to give you the only thing you ever wanted and asked for: the truth.

i can nourish myself on nothing but truth – Therese of Lisieux

A woman walking by is telling her friend, age doesn’t necessarily equal maturity. I agree. Maturity doesn’t necessarily just come with age either. If what you’ve built is based on lies, sooner or later, it’ll crumble in front of your eyes.

You’ll remember them asking if you liked how childlike they were. Thinking they were referring to the playfulness, the laughs, finding joy in the little things, living like there’s no tomorrow, that characterize kids, you’ll say yes, of course.

Later, you will find out they were referring to their fantasy reality, and asking if you enjoyed being there with them. A charming paper house the one they built, can’t live inside though.


Huge thank you to Natalie Patterson for being so open and vulnerable in her writing and work, inspiring me and thousands of others to do the same.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

Sunday Reminiscing #1

Food for thought

When I started, I knew I wanted to write every single day, but I was also aware I would *need* Sundays to be slightly different. However, Sundays had to be included if I wanted to be able to say “I’ve been writing and publishing my writing every day since ______” without feeling like a fraud. Then I remembered.

I love going through old notebooks, favorite part: out of context sentences.

Here are some of those from my journals throughout the years, in alphabetical, non-chronological order, grouped together for aesthetic purposes:

0% chance of wearing pants
A cat that’s not even mine scratched my bag and peed on my bag, A-hole
A child running around holding leeks in hand
A lot of planning has to go into it these days
A restless dog. A see-thru shirt. Cat in my lap.
A woman saying she’s pregnant with the holy spirit
An adult conversation. Choosing gin. Him feeling better. Her feeling worse.
As always, I think of such a distant future

 

“Big minority”
Didn’t slip on ice’
Drinks, dances, tears, smiles, kisses, music, the people, my people, happiness
Felt glad I gave the book a second chance
Guy looking at Kim K’s IG during their talk
HOWEVER, I think I finally got it right, what I should and shouldn’t do
He does, but his words don’t
How old is that way of thinking/doing?

I died right then and there
I don’t expect shit from men
I found that song I was looking for
I keep thinking I don’t have time for this
I made cookies, liked the cookie dough more
If I can’t be alone with him, I’ll be here by myself. I don’t mind. I just wanted something else.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

It really made my day
It’s so green and clean and spiritual there
More: 1.) Cookie 2.) warmth 3.) help 4.) truth-telling
Oh, he’s only doing things for the money now
People having beer and Skyping with a loved one
REMINDER: Wine works
Reminder to ask for/get what you really want

Surprisingly, I take it easy
Swimming at night. Wine exploding everywhere. Leaving.
That night I slept over
The truth’s changed
Then they’re gonna talk if they have something to say
Tried concealer for the first time
Wasn’t I the one caressing him when I went there?

We got: 1.) wine 2.) in a fight
We were: 1.) both equally excited to see each other 2.) up dancing all night
When? When you told me to?
Words were said, tears were shed, I’m not sad- 132nd time’s a charm
Wore velvet. Found a great parking spot.
You’d think they’re gender neutral, but they were created for men, by men