Getting Noticed

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, available at, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website:

CHITCHAT:  My short story, “A New Stage in Life,” published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, has hit bookstores today.

Now, on to my blog:
023We all want attention of some kind for all sorts of things in our lives: personal, social, business, and more. The competition to get noticed is vicious.

What are you willing to do to get noticed? Rachel Dolezal, an American author, passed herself off as being black even though she was born of white parents.  A few years ago, a white, male poet, Michael Derrick Hudson, submitted a poem under an Asian, female pen name and got his work published after it had been rejected numerous times under his real name. There has been a lot of online chatter in writer’s groups as to whether what he did is ethical. In my opinion, these moves are probably not any less ethical than what George Eliot (over 150 years ago) or J.K. Rowling (of modern day “Harry Potter” fame) did to disguise their sex and maybe give the impression that they were male, thereby offering them a better chance to be noticed, so their thinking probably went.

People use a plethora of methods to get attention onto themselves: unusual dress, affecting an odd laugh, dying their hair, talking loudly or excessively, becoming a great dancer, intellectual and academic achievement, and on and on.  There’s not necessarily anything right or wrong with any of these methods or hundreds of others you may think of. However, some might not be within your comfort zone or might bring about the opposite result by driving attention away instead of attracting it. The secret is to find the thing that is your particular style and accomplishes your purpose. How do you do that?

First you have to identify methods that work for you in your quest for that elusive attention you’re seeking. Gather ideas from reading magazines, newspapers, and books.  Do research by going to the library, navigating the Internet or networking (asking friends, relatives, acquaintances, and even strangers for advice).  Finally, observe what others do. Try out in small ways and in safe places those things that appeal to you. See how they feel. Discard the ones that don’t work.  For those that do, ramp them up and try them out in more places—cut a broader swath.

If what you’re doing is not illegal and isn’t hurting anyone else or yourself, keep at it. If you find that you’re getting the payback you’re seeking, go for it!

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1 Comment

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One response to “Getting Noticed

  1. Hi, LGG!

    Congratulations on the publication of your short story! Is it available on Amazon?

    In terms of your blog, I found it to be interesting. Personally, I think that anyone involved in the arts is probably seeking attention, myself included. Your comments about George Eliot and J.K Rowling point to a sad state of affairs in the writing world. I would like to add an anecdote about my early attempts to write for children: I attended a conference on writing for children and found that, not only was I the only Black person there, I was the only male. So, you see, we all have our crosses to bear. Please let me know if I can get “A New Stage in Life” on Amazon. If not, I’ll get it from Barnes and Noble. I believe in supporting my fellow writers and other artists. Sometimes, that’s the only support we really get.


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