4/08/2019

Writing Effectively With ADHD


Writing Effectively When You Have ADHD


Dealing with ADHD in all its forms can be a challenge, but when you’re a creative type, it can present its own set of unique and special problems.

And if you keep reading past the effective writing ideas, I’ll share some of my favorite helpful sites, as well as ones which give me inspiration for (mostly) creative writing.
According to ADDitude Mag, as of 2013, an estimated 11% of school age children are diagnosed with ADHD.

As an adult with ADHD who is extremely fond of writing, I’ve found some effective, and some not-so-effective, ways to cope with the unique way that my brain works. Here are a few of the things that work the best for me.

1. Whenever I have a daunting task, be it a big project, a story I want to work on, an article I want to begin, or whatever, I begin by taking a deliberate break. No, I don’t mean mindlessly checking my Facebook and liking things. Or dusting something that’s collected a layer of dust. I mean doing absolutely nothing. Deliberately. Yes, I mean sit still and wait. Just like you’re at the DMV or the post office, only sitting preferably. Set an alarm if you have to. Watch the clock, but don’t do anything. close all your screens and apps on your computer, put your phone or tablet down. The only thing that I allow myself to do during these deliberate breaks is sip water and vape. I do nothing else. Sounds simple doesn’t it? If it helps, think of it as a sort of Zen exercise. The art of doing nothing. But this is an effective way to get started, give my brain the needed break it needs, and get ready for the upcoming task. Let’s say I look at the clock and it’s 9:50 pm, I am determined to write for 2 hours. I give myself 10 minutes. Saying that I must start at 10 pm, no later. The first time you do this it may be difficult because you feel like you’re wasting time just sitting there doing nothing. But imagine all the ways and times you do nothing, or very little, and are unaware of it.

 2. Start when you say you will: No matter what. If the phone rings, ignore it. If the cat jumps up on your desk, put her down, and keep going. Let no distraction daunt you from the task at hand.
3.
     
 Play music. I find that music evokes feelings and emotions and allows my mind to reflect, ruminate, and wander. This is a good effect because it can often stir the creative juices that I need to get myself geared up and ready to work. Although I have those intense moments when I have to pause whatever I’m playing because I’m trying to get phrasing just right or trying to remember something pivotal to my article, story, or plot.

4.Make Lists: Write down lists of ideas, topics, article titles, headlines, business and marketing, etc. I personally use Microsoft OneNote to keep track of (most) of my writing ideas, it’s helpful because I am able to sync it across all my devices (computer, tablet, & phone). Personally I’ve been using a planner since high school, which is, what is fast becoming, a long time ago.

5.Carry some paper with you. Don’t just rely on tech. As a writer, technology isn’t always the most reliable thing, sometimes the phone is slow, or maybe the battery died because you forgot to charge the phone. There’s no replacement for paper and a pen or pencil. You don’t have to recharge a notepad or wait for it to boot up. Sometimes I find that waiting for OneNote to load on my tablet takes so long that I’ve forgotten what I wanted to write down by the time it’s up, running, and ready. I have lost a few ideas that way. Hopefully they’ll come back to me someday...

This could be #6 but it doesn’t really pertain to writing, but more about your taxes and finances. Having any sort of attention problem or executive function disorder means being disorganized, a large amount of the time, so using a free scanner app or scanning receipts and important documents into your computer and saving them in their own folder could be pretty helpful, just in case tax season comes around and you lost something. If you want to know more about how to file taxes as a freelancer, check out Careful Cents and sign up for her free tax course. It’s simple, easy to understand, and inspirational. It takes the fear out of doing taxes.

So if you have, or think you may have ADHD, don’t be discouraged about striving to achieve your dreams. There are plenty of success stories of women who’ve overcome great odds and achieved their goals and ambitions. There are a few famous men who’ve certainly achieved success, wealth, and abundance despite certain limitations.

Also apparently average people can get a taste of what it’s like to have ADD. According to Wired “jumping between digital documents impedes understanding”. Well, I hate to be the one to say this, OK maybe a part of me doesn’t, but welcome to my world. Now regular people can, and apparently do, get a taste of what it’s like to be unfocused all the time to varying degrees.
Tell me what your techniques are for dealing with things when you’re stressed or when life is simply too much? I’d also love to hear from other creative ADDers. Can’t wait to read your comments!

Layla Rose
The Goth Writer’s Awesome Blog
Follow me on Twitter @TheGothWriter
#ADHD #writing #freelancewriting #productivity #remote

4/05/2019

The 5 Ways Marketing is Like Fishing


1.     Bait the hook – you wouldn’t bait a fish hook with this...    
      Fish don’t like potatoes. You have to figure out what bait to use before you can expect to even try to catch anything. Or to put it simply learn what your audience wants and figure out how to deliver it. In a way that is unique to you. That would be your unique selling point.



      2. Cast the line – This is how you get out there, get noticed, get seen. You cast a line so that people know you’re there. This is probably the most time-consuming step. You have to market yourself. This often takes more time than the creation of your content.
      3. Wait for bites – Sometimes it’s just a matter of time, sometimes you get bites right away, sometimes you have to be a bit patient.

      4. Check the line – If you’re not getting enough bites, or not getting any bites, then you check the line and make sure it’s solid, secure, and cast again. That means looking at similar sites or blogs that are talking about the same subjects. See what they do, if you’re stumped, ask for advice. Find a forum that has what you want. Search and learn.

      5.   Reel them in – When they start biting, you reel them in, set up your freebies to give away, get your email list going, put all your juicy tidbits together so that the fish will bite and keep biting every time you cast off. Be personal and human in your contact with potential clients or customers. They want to feel that they’re talking to a real human, not a machine.

Then you’ll have a complete and beautiful bounty every time. And you know by bounty I mean money.
Remember that determination, being good at what you do, and learning from your mistakes will get you farther than not trying anything. Don’t be afraid to fail forward, engage, and keep learning on this journey called life.

I enjoy making proclamations, so here’s one: What I value: learning, acceptance, compassion & empathy, eco-conscious living, healthy holistic lifestyles, good food, and healthy decadent recipes. There are many more that I could add to this, but this is enough for now. I just wanted to end on a positive note, because I heard Henry Winkler speak at a Yale University commencement and he said:

“Never put a period on a negative thought.”

I hope you enjoyed the post. And I hope that you’ve gained something from my writing: entertainment, amusement, or information. Please check back soon and subscribe to my blog until I have email subscriptions up and running.
Take care!
Layla Rose: The Goth Writer

4/01/2019

Scam Inspiration!


Yes, I said it. Even scams can be an inspiration. Think about the ones that you nearly fell for, or did fall for. Why? What did they say that was convincing? What did they do or say that made you think, hey maybe this is for me?

So this post is about all the April (as well as other months) fools that intrude on us. Recently I decided to place an ad on Craigslist for my VA Services, and was inundated with replies. So many potential clients, most of which I knew right away were bogus. But they’re not always that easy to spot.

One day I woke up to about 15 text messages, despite the fact that I’d explicitly stated in my ad that I only wanted phone calls or emails.

I’ve not relied solely on Craigslist alone, I’ve also looked on sites like Reddit, LinkedIn, and UpWork. But even legitimate sites have been overrun with scam artists. Many scams are obvious, many are not. Recognizing scams, as opposed to genuine opportunities, can be a bit like spotting a Z-Brick fa├žade vs. a real brick house. From far away they look nearly identical, but the closer you look, the more you notice a pattern forming.

The difference between what these scammers do and what I, and many of my fellow freelancers, do is that we deliver what we promise. Or we try our hardest to do so. Because as sole proprietors, entrepreneurs, and freelancers we want repeat clients. It’s out we earn our living. We also value our reputation in the business community. We aren’t simply after one big score so that we can move on to the next mark. Any company that has, and offers, value will keep doing so over time.

These schemes often cast a wide net, prey on the desperate, and even claim to represent actual companies. When I see these, I immediately report it to the company that they’re claiming to work for. With one individual I let him know that I’d contacted the company to verify that he was authorized to represent them in some way. Needless to say, I never heard from this potential “client” again.

You may think that you’re immune or don’t frequent places where these types of fraud happen. You may even consider yourself tech savvy as I do.

So in honor of April Fool’s Day, I’ve decided to share a little bit of my experience with scams. The following red flag list is comprised of things that I’ve personally experienced or come across as a freelancer. These ethically ambiguous people prey on you when you’re desperate or needy. That’s when a sole proprietor may be more vulnerable as we all have bills to pay, and things to buy.
But I decided that it was also an inspiration because they are so good at their pitch. Some of them are too obvious, but many of the ones that I’ve almost fallen for had a very clever pitch. So I decided that we could possibly learn something from these pitches. Think about the effective techniques that they’ve used and use some of them for yourself, without exaggerating of course.  But then set yourself apart by following through, delivering what you promise, and offering the premium service that you’ve set out to. There are a few that I’ve read, received, and almost gotten involved with, that were so well done, I was almost fooled. Some of the warning signs to look out for:

·         Refusal to talk on the phone, insisting on text only communication – And when you question them, they claim that they’re out of the country and international phone rates are too high to pay for. If they’re successful enough to hire a freelancer, they can afford to buy international minutes for their phone.

·         Insist on doing business by email only. This is another one. They bait you with brief, vague offers of a job that you’d be perfect for, then you ask them for more details and they tell you that it’s simple, only a few hours per week, and that they will pay a much higher than average rate for one task only. This is usually people pretending to have real estate that they want you to advertise for. Then they send you all the details. If this happens, politely tell them that you have to verify that they’re authorized to act on behalf of this realty company and I guarantee that they will ghost you.

·         They seem too eager to hire you. It’s like the roles are reversed. They’re trying to sell you on working for them, not the other way around. Most jobs are not that easy to obtain, aside from multi-level marketing, and commission-based businesses, but they have nothing to lose. If you earn, so do they, if you don’t, then they’re no worse off.

·         When you look up the company, they’re in another country, like Italy for instance. Wouldn’t an EU country hire an EU employee? It’s not impossible that they’d hire someone from the US or Canada, as many companies do broaden their scope for international markets. But they are likely not even associated with that company at all. If you think something is off, contact the company, go with your gut.

·         The job description is very vague or the job doesn’t seem quite too good to be true, requires special equipment and/or software which they promise to provide, but when you accept the position, after several correspondences, they send you official-looking checks in the mail for very large sums of money. They hound you about when the funds will be available. Don’t spend any of it, if you did deposit the checks. Alert the bank. But don’t deposit them at all. This is a way to get as much as possible. Many times the bank temporarily credits your account, they’ll take whatever they can get most likely claiming that it’s a deposit on equipment or special tools for the position. They also say that part of the payment is a portion of your salary. No job I’ve ever had paid me before I began. That’s not how jobs work.

·         They offer you a job but say you’ll be paid by wire transfer. This is a red flag right away. They will claim that they sent you a large sum of money and it will arrive at Western Union or MoneyGram, but that there’s a fee because it’s an international transfer. Firstly that’s not how money transfers work. The person sending it pays any fees up front. Secondly, you have to pick one: Western Union or MoneyGram, not either. It doesn’t work that way. Despite our advances in technology, most people don’t really know how wiring money works. This is wire fraud, plain and simple. If you pay that fee you will never see any money or hear from the other party again.

·         Someone asks you to wire them money to begin working for you. Now I’m usually just focused on freelancers looking for clients, but some of us also outsource our work when we have a large workload,  many of the above things may happen, but they’ll ask you to wire them some money, they’ll have a convincing excuse, setting up accounts to manage their tasks, or something equally convincing, but they’ll disappear, along with your money.

·         You get an email offering you the job, just reply to accept. This happened for a job I found on LinkedIn. Also got a private message from a real user on there, but her account had been hacked. They also use real companies with fake people claiming to work for that company. Go to the website, look at their career page, contact them if you’re not sure. Then report it to LinkedIn as being a scam. They’ll look into it. They pride themselves on being a reputable and trustworthy site for the business minded individual. Don’t be angry with them. It’s not their fault. Hackers hack and scammers scam.
Insist on being paid by PayPal, Zelle, Square, or Google Wallet. Those are the most trustworthy ways that I know of. Personally I wouldn’t accept a check unless the company is Pepsi, Nike, or NBC Universal. And if you’re hiring, insist on using these options to pay the freelancers. Most credible freelancers use or have accounts with one of the aforementioned sites.

Last, but not least, if you have been fleeced out of a large sum of money, report it. No matter how vague the information that you have. The FBI’s website has a tip page. Even if you’re not sure where they are or whether they used a real name or not. The more people who come forward about these types of scams the better; these aren’t just a nuisance, they’re illegal.


Don’t fall for these fools’ scams. They’re the fools. Not you.

Here’s some more info about scams and how to avoid them from a fellow VA in the UK

*Please don’t feel bad or embarrassed for falling for a scam. They prey on your desperation. Desperation for money or something else you need. That’s how they make so much money. I have a case in the DA’s office of Florida for a company that offers to buy a time-share for more than you want to sell it for. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I fell for it. They did have some kind of high fee, that I borrowed from a friend of mine. They sent me a check in the mail, I didn’t think twice about receiving the check b/c I was selling something. That company was found guilty of racketeering and possibly mail fraud. These are federal crimes. If they were able to catch any of those predators, they are probably in federal prison now.

4/09/2017

Cattitude: Looking to My Cat for Inspiration

No, I’m not talking about being catty. I mean deliberately taking a devil-may-care attitude towards the haters and nay-sayers. You know the ones: they deride, discourage, and find fault with nearly everything and everyone. They probably write only one-star reviews. Remember Mikey from the Life cereal commercials? They’re little Mikeys. For all the ones too young to have seen the commercial, it was significant that he liked this cereal because apparently he hated everything, so of course he’d hate this too, but *spoiler alert* it was an exception. Except for these modern-day Mikeys, there’s no Life cereal for them. They just hate everything.

There are times when everyone wants something and/or everyone seems to have something negative to say about a comment you've posted, or they misunderstood you in some way. This is when I decide to look to my cat for inspiration.

Also recognize scams. As a freelancer we can be especially vulnerable. We make our income primarily from our own home, often working remotely. You not only have to learn to ignore too much criticism, but also excessive praise.

Here’s my cat: a blue and cream tortoiseshell who has plenty, of what we cat lovers call, tortitude.


Here are 5 Ways to Have Cattitude.

1.    Know that the people who find fault with everything, don’t get joy from anything either. Revel in, and be grateful for, your joy.                                                                               




 My cat staring at the flat black thing that takes attention away from her

2.    Realize that they’re probably not the sort of people you’d want to associate with anyway. I found my cat Darragh on the street, she barely acknowledged any other people, she only came up to me, even gave me furry fives. She knew instinctively who to trust and who to avoid, which leads me to my next item…
Which she still does.

3.    Trust your instincts: Nothing threatens freelancers more than scams, sometimes people using too much flattery and being too nice is a red flag. Recently I’ve noticed an increase in job email spam/scams. Ever since I updated my resume on one of the popular online job boards, I’ve had an influx of all sorts of amazing offers telling me how impressed they are with my resume and how I’m the perfect fit for some position that they’d like to offer me. I’m apparently so impressive that I don’t even need to be interviewed. All I have to do is call them to start working right away. That’s amazing! NOT! Reality Check: Not even the president of the United States can get a job without applying for it. OK yeah I know he’s elected. But he’s had other jobs before right? And you should be especially cautious about the shipping scam. It isn’t just a scam, it’s illegal.

Darragh sez… “No way.”

4.    Keep working on your voice and style no matter what anyone else says. I can’t apologize for my individuality any more than I can for my hair or eye color. I was hesitant about my penchant for controversial subjects and my unique tastes, preferences, and choices, but now I’ve learned more, gotten better at doing what I love, so I know how, and when, to let my freak flag fly.

Darragh sez…“With only one eye I can still see” It’s the emotionally blind that don’t see anything.

5.   Don’t respond in anger. No matter how inflammatory a comment or critic, just wait. Wait until you have the patience and calm to properly address the individual. Or simply ignore them. Some people want to get others riled up, that’s why they’re called trolls, they come in and only want to stir up trouble, blunder around from forum to forum and thread to thread instigating drama amongst the tiny human crowd.

Darragh sez…“I’ve got this…”

We all have moments that seem overwhelming, when life seems too difficult. There are times when all your comments seem to be misunderstood and everyone seems to be confrontational. But remember all the positive interactions, keep calm, and maintain an attitude of Cattitude.

Hey, maybe Darragh needs her own Twitter account, since she has so much to say, what do you think?

Tell me how you handle haters. Do you give them links and evidence to teach them why they’re wrong, for the factually challenged ones? Or do you simply ignore them? Refuse to engage? I can’t wait to hear all of your interesting and creative ways to handle the not-so-friendlies on the interweb.

Layla Rose: The Goth Writer
#freelancing #blogger #writing #furrygirl #Cattitude


*Note: If you click the link to my website, please be patient as it’s a free site and not optimized to load very quickly. I do apologize. But as soon as I’m able to monetize more I will be upgrading soon.

9/09/2016

The Grown-Up Goth




Alternative Lifestyles


A Treatise on the Goth Subculture

 

How did the Goth scene first get started?

 

It arose as an off-shoot of the punk scene of the late seventies and early eighties. When the punk scene first started, the punky look (spiked Mohawks, brightly colored hair, safety pins, and ripped up clothing) would later evolve. So the Gothic style, subculture, style of dress, and music was a development born out of, change, like many things that have come before. And perhaps many more which will come after.


Personally, as someone who prefers and enjoys the Gothic style of clothing the most, I’ve always dreamed and imagined that it would become more mainstream, more accepted, and more commonplace. Even though many alternative-minded people do enjoy being different standing out, and being on the fringes of society, at least outwardly. Many of us do not, or at least we don’t enjoy the attention, but would just like to be accepted and seen as individuals.



While it will likely never become mainstream or trendy to be Goth, you see many more Goth fashion accessories and clothing in mainstream stores today, or as we like to refer to them, mundane. Could it be gaining ground in mainstream society? Or is it simply a trend destined to rise and fall like many trends and styles? Some of my best Goth clothes have actually come from regular stores, not specialty ones.

 

Why Goth?

 

The Goth fashion is a style that is probably my favorite look on the planet. Why am I drawn to it? Why do I like it so much? What makes someone gravitate toward alternative styles of dress? Why would someone choose to have blue or green or pink hair instead of all the colors that nature allows us to be born with?



I really can’t answer that. I don’t know why we have the preferences that we do. Maybe some of it is genetic. Some of it perceptual. I don’t think that why really matters as much as most people think. What matters is who we are as people, not what we wear, how we style our hair, or what music we listen to.


How Did I Get Started?

 

I first began going to Goth clubs at the height of the scene in the mid-nineties. 1996 to be exact. There was a time when there was literally a Goth venue for every single night of the week. Yes, even Sunday. I worked at night, but every night that I wasn’t working I went to a club of some kind. My then crush, is the one who took me to my first Goth club. It was a Sunday night, pretty low-key, barely anyone was there, as it was the end of the weekend. But I thought it was the most magical and interesting thing that I’d ever seen. Everyone’s clothes were so elegant, unique, dark, and beautiful.


The crush that I had at the time, whose name I am not mentioning here for privacy reasons, for simplicity let’s call him Toby, also worked at a Goth clothing store. I loved to go in there and look at beautiful clothes, most of which I couldn’t really afford. I think that they had layaway though. I still have a few of my clothing items from then. Sadly, most of my specially Goth store purchased clothes have worn out and/or need to be mended, dyed, or altered in some way. I really miss being able to buy beautiful things. I bought my velvet cape, not from a Goth clothing store, but from a boutique in 1996. The store had silk velvet capes in black, royal blue, and burgundy (I think). It was expensive, but worth it. I have it to this day and it is in great shape. It is also quite warm being made of real silk. Velvet was originally, and still is, made of silk or rayon. Velvet that is not is actually not velvet, but usually velour (synthetic, as well as usually – but not always – stretchy) or velveteen, which is made from cotton.


So when I first started going to Goth clubs and the subsequent years in between, I was often met with stares, insults, and taunts. I’ve been harassed on the subway, even called devil while waiting in line to get into a club. You name it, it’s happened. I’ve even heard from some European acquaintances that when they go out “Gothin’” as an ex-boyfriend of mine used to say, they would have to cover up because they were afraid of physical attacks.



This is probably the most urgent aspect to this discussion: physical taunts and attacks. People, no matter what they look like, do not deserve to be attacked, reviled, or verbally insulted. I’ve found myself, over the years, often toning down my look, mostly because I do not want the negative attention that it brings me. This actually makes me sad. Then there are times when I simply can’t keep it in. I have to get all dolled up, makeup and all. Another reason for toning it down over the years has also been because getting all Gothed up is a lot of work. Sometimes I don’t have the energy for that level of glamor or couture.


The Future of Goth

 

There is a Goth club in every state of the country, except my home state of West Virginia. There is one in Alabama and Louisiana, but not in WV! I actually thought about what it would take if I ever went back there and opened one. But there really isn’t any market for it there. I hope to bring the Goth scene into the 21st century with understanding and compassion. I’m just like you. I just like to wear different clothes, makeup, and hairstyles than the rest of society.


Some people consider the Goth Scene dead in NYC, but I’m not sure that’s completely true. I have recently relocated to Newark, NJ which has the only Goth club in NJ. I haven’t been in several years. But plan to go very soon, at which point I will probably also write a follow-up piece about it.



I will note any changes to the music, the scene, the crowd, and the venue. I’ve noticed over the years as many other Goths age, get married, have children, and settle into their adult mundane lives, they go out less frequently. But as a childfree Goth, I do not have any desire to leave the scene completely. I wish that I could do it every weekend again. I wish that I could afford all the beautiful clothes that I love and see. Some of the clothing stores that I used to drool over in 90s are sadly gone now. But the internet has become a mecca of Goth fashion. So, even though the scene may have scattered and faded, as people have grown up, the style will never truly be gone from the world. It is my intention, not for others to adopt the style, but for them to be more accepting of it as a whole. Remember, we don’t get to choose what our preferences are, but only whether to express them openly.


*Note* If you’ll check out the links to fun Goth stuff, you’re sure to find something interesting which will lead you even farther into the world of the Gothic subculture. Still being dark without being sinister...

Goth Links & Info:
Fairy Goth Mother Some of the most beautiful and expensive Goth clothes that I’ve ever seen!
Good Goth – more affordable Gothic fashion.
Sophistique Noir – Goth fashion for the mature.
Gothic Style – Jewelry to go with all those lovely clothes!
The Bauhaus Song as the catalyst.
The International Goth Club Listing.
The NYC Goth Scene (what remains): Absolution