Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

storm moving across a field
March 22, 2024

How To Get Attention (without mooning the Police) 

by Jaime Buckley

close up of police lights

The need for attention is a human trait we all share. It feeds our souls and validates our hearts. 

... unfortunately, some become addicted and need a shot of rehab.

Morphiophelius Smith

My little brother and I ran for cover once we saw the red and blue lights. 

In the area we lived, Diablo California, the country club environment meant perfectly manicured lawns, trees and hedges...but what the adults didn’t know was a small network of crawl spaces for little kids like us. 

I was 11 years old.

My brother and I hit the grass and started crawling.

...but something was horribly wrong.

“MATT!” I cried out, looking over my shoulder, “What are you DOING!?!”

My best friend was still standing in the middle of the road, bright lights from the cop car shining on him. ...as he unzipped his pants.

“We’re gonna get caught anyway,” he said matter-of-fact, “so why run?”

I gasped as his jeans and his underwear dropped around his ankles. 

The police car slowly came to a halt, and the officer got out of the car, clicking on his Mag Light and drawing his black baton.

Oh crap, I thought to myself; the cops gonna beat him! My heart raced as thoughts of visiting Matt in the hospital, broken bones, and concussion from the brutal cop thrashing he was about to receive. 

The officer walked up slowly, stood behind my best friend, who stood there with fists on his hips... 

Then smacked him hard on the butt with the baton—hard enough for me to hear the smack...and hard enough for Matt to let out a yelp. 

“Pull up your pants, son. I don’t take kindly to being mooned.” 

As Matt did as he was told, the flashlight turned our direction. 

“Now where did your little rat friends go?” The officer holstered the baton and said firmly, “I’ve got your friend, boys. Better you come out now...or we can do this the hard way.” 

The hard way? Oh, NO! Not...the hard way!!

I had absolutely no idea what the hard way was—but I was pretty certain it was something I should fear, if the tone of the officer’s voice was any sign. Terrified I might get beaten myself, I crawled out from the shrubbery, my little brother in tow. 

“And there they are,” the officer said smugly. “Now, what are three little boys doing out in the middle of the night?” 

Luckily, our loyalty ran deep. 

...as a sliver

“That house over on Ranchero Drive with all the toilet paper all over the front lawn and trees — that wasn’t us!” my brother squeaked. 

“It wasn’t, huh?” the officer replied cooly. He glared at each of us.

I bit my lip. Hard.

“It was ALL THEM!” my brother vomited, pointing his finger at me and Matt. 

“Well, well, well,” the officer concluded, “I bet your mom and dad will be worried that you’re out in the middle of the night, boys....and I’m guessing they would like me to make sure you get home safe and sound.” 

Oh mannnnn, my mom was gonna be ticked.

My heart sank, and I learned a valuable lesson that night: 

Never bring your stupid little brother on a TP job! 

Why Do We Seek Attention? 

I always wondered why Matt did things like that night. 

He would stand up to bullies as long as there were people watching, talk back to most adults, and he didn’t mind getting caught. 

It’s a question I keep asking myself, even as an adult now...because all of us seem to do it. 

You might think this is a simplistic subject, or perhaps even stupid. 

You’d be wrong. 

How do I know? 

Because all you have to do is think about the opposite: Would you like to be forgotten? 

Unless you’re a politician forced from (or laughed out of) office, a criminal that just robbed a bank...or a sex offender out on parole, probably not. 

Many youths (and adults) want to be noticed. 

It may be simply to be liked. 

Perhaps you want to be noticed for that new book you just wrote. 

In my case, I seek attention for three reasons: to make new friends, uplift others and lastly to encourage people to read my fantasy books. 

Some have a deep need to be the center of attention—because they measure their importance by the level of attention they receive

Others use attention to take away from someone else or to redirect another’s attention altogether—think of lawyers in court or the way the media manipulate viewers. 

Goodness — consider Social Media — isn’t it ALL about attention?? 

We use attention to raise money, find a companion, start businesses, put politicians into office (or smear their competitors names in front of the public). Heck—I can’t think of too many reasons we wouldn’t want to gain attention. 

Even in self defense, we seek attention—when someone’s doing wrong; they do NOT want to be seen, so it’s strategic to draw attention to a situation for one’s own protection. 

I brought this subject up to Chuck and Dax the other day and they just about laughed me out of the Tavern. 

...well, until Chuck reminded his green sidekick about his run in with the Gypsy Sentry.

Note to self: ask Dax about waking up in the Black Market naked and covered in chicken feathers.

We talked about this subject for a while (as Dax sulked, of course). I mentioned to Chuck how I wanted to share some good ways to get the ‘positive’ attention we seek...without resorting to dropping our drawers or being coated in chicken feathers. 

He suggested using one of the best examples we know of: Kevin Duncan, creator of Be A Better Blogger, The Solopreneur Experiment, and Editor-in-Chief of Smartblogger, with 4 million readers

5 Ways You Can Be Like Kevin Duncan & Gain POSITIVE Attention 

Kevin Duncan is one of my favorite people online. His website, Be A Better Blogger, was one of my 10 blogs to follow, not because of the great information he shares...but because of the personality behind it. The attention he gained from Be A Better Blogger propelled him on to greater projects, which makes it a powerful example of how to get the attention you want (and likely need).

In fact, I openly tell people that Kevin’s blog is the first blog I signed up to just because I enjoyed it. Needed nothing, wasn’t looking to get anything from it, other than the pleasure of being a part of his growing community. 

To me, that said a lot about the caliber of person Kevin is. I kinda pride myself on having good taste in people. Though we’ve never met in person, he’s become a good friend and someone I admire. 

The fact is—Kevin Duncan gets attention. Why is that? 

Well, he gives a fantastic example in his article: How I Went From Unknown to Boost Blog Traffic Writer in Six Months (and How You Can, Too), but let me break down the principles for you... 

Kevin gets attention by building a brand

Now when I say ‘brand’, this is something that applies to you, me, everyone. 

If you’re a teen and you’re new in school—you should think about branding yourself. Honesty, humor, integrity, kindness...all characteristics that speak about your character and that’s exactly what Kevin has done. He not only branded Be A Better Blogger—he continues to brand himself as an individual.

He kicked his success into overdrive by writing: How to write a blog post: The definitive 10,273-word guide your mom will understand.

Kevin gets attention, because he’s original.

I read a lot of articles...and I mean, a lot

That being said, when I read one of Kevin’s articles for the first time, I actually read it...twice. Once because I enjoyed it, the second time because I was trying to reason out why I enjoyed it so much. 

His writing wasn’t like the regurgitated emotional and mental babble most blogs spew out. 

Yeah...I think many blogs who try to be popular don’t produce original content—the vomit what’s already been done, thinking the smell, even though it still smells bad, is good enough as long as it smells different

Wrong answer. 

Don’t be good enough—be better. 

Excel. Exceed expectations. Soar. 

...and write in ways your readers will never forget. Something like: What Weird Al Yankovic can teach us about blogging 

Kevin gets attention because he stands out.

There’s no question that this man is unique to bloggers. I saw that in the first post I read. As I mentioned before, I read the post twice.

The first thing I noticed was that I noticed nothing at all.

Is that strange? Not really. 

What I mean is, Kevin’s writing was so natural to read, it felt like I was having a conversation with a dear friend. It was personal, light, funny, and I found myself thinking about answers to the questions asked. The experience sucked me mentally and emotionally in until I was done with the article. 

Talk about refreshing! 

We can all do this in the way we communicate with people, the way we dress, the way we carry ourselves...even the way we respond to others. 

Kevin even has impeccable taste when it comes to his choice of guest writers. 


Kevin gets attention because he is always subtle.

Okay...sort of. 

If you go through any of the blog posts on Be A Better Blogger, what you’re going to find is kindness and a ton of valuable information...and no beating chests. 

Kevin’s never pushy or rude. Ever. 

If he has something he’d like you to try, it’s a suggestion or an option, not a “You should do this or you’re a moron,” approach. 

There’s something brilliant about this—because all he does is execute without compulsory means. 

Fact is, I joined his email list because I wanted to be part of his community—not because I was getting something in return for my email address. 

Hmmmm....maybe I should ask for something?

ANYway—being ‘subtle’ means taking small, simple steps, consistently. Don’t force people to do things and don’t beat your chest like a gorilla...but be the person who others want to be around. 

In short, be irresistible. Like Chuck.

(You’re welcome buddy.) 

Kevin gets attention because he’s always nice.

I don’t know what to say if you’re a jerk. 

Yes, you’ll get attention, but it’ll be short-lived and in the end, I’m not sure it’s the attention you’ll want to have. 

One of Kevin’s best qualities is that the man in always nice. 

I mean always. 

He has class. Style. Humility. 

What makes Kevin Duncan a powerful blogger is he teaches by example and shows through his interactions with other bloggers and readers in a respectful, creative and humble manner. 

One of my favorite posts—and the one where he and I started to get to know each other in the comments section was The Howdy Neighbor Technique. Read it, especially if you’re trying to get attention online...it’ll change your life in one sitting. 


This is Kevin in a nutshell.

Well, if he could FIT in a nutshell.

(I couldn’t fit my pinky toe in a nutshell.)

No grasping for credit.

No shoving people out of the way to get gain.

What you see is what you get with Kevin and what you get is a guy you’ll want to become friends with. In fact, you’ll want to guard that friendship for years to come. 

Do people feel that way about you? Think about it. 

The Biggest Key is to Start Right Here, Right Now! 

It doesn’t matter where you are in life or where you are pertaining to your goals.

You start where you’re at right now. 

From business executives to mommy bloggers, fiction writers to high school students, it doesn’t matter...

Start today. Start now

Decide to be something more, someone more...and choose who that person is on purpose, with purpose. 

I learned that from Morphiophelius Smith (aka Chuck).

See you next time. 

What are some brilliant ways you've learned to get attention?

* * * * * *

About Jaime

Jaime Buckley

Jaime Buckley is a cartoonist and best-selling author.

More importantly, he’s a loving husband and father of 13 children. Since 1986 he’s worked for famous authors and TV personalities, and illustrated for hundreds of new authors across the genre spectrum. If you can think of a creative project or marketing strategy, Jaime's likely done it… but always finds his greatest success by being himself. You can find Jaime writing fantasy for readers on LifeOfFiction.com and sharing his parenting antics through kidCLANS.com.

Check out Jaime's current books:

Top image from Depositphotos.

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33 comments on “How To Get Attention (without mooning the Police) ”

  1. Wow, Jamie. You have challenged me in a big way. I'm the one still hiding in the bushes trying to figure out the folks who are getting attention. Your clear and simple (not easy for me anyway) guides are invaluable. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hello, Lynette!

      Remember…"challenge" is better than "problem".

      The first part is easy. The one’s getting the attention aren’t IN the bushes. People can SEE them (grin).

      The second part is never truly easy, because it’s about being ‘us’, and most of the time we don’t honestly know what that is. We’re so caught up in trying to understand what others see, or figure out what we want them to see, we tend to lie.

      To others, and to ourselves.

      Society has us ‘selling’ a version of ourselves and it doesn’t work in the long run, because we choose the lie. We want to be seen other than the way we are, and when we slip, OR we finally become comfortable enough in our own skins around others, we let down our defenses and our illusion.

      Others then see the real us and exclaim, "WHAT THE…???"

      • We do it in dating to find a companion.
      • We do it to look good to other parents.
      • We do it with employers to get the job we want.

      …instead of being ‘us’ and letting THAT be the natural filter to clear out the nay-sayers and mud-butts who can’t see our true value and potential.

      TIP: Know where the bushes are. Try a hit and run. Let people know the real you…and get into the habit of keeping a B-Line to the bushes in your peripheral vision.

  2. I love your comments. It is what I try to do on my blog, which I started this year. Below is the website for my new blog posts, which I call musings.

    1. Hey, Ken!

      Couple things…

      First, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Canadian, cool =) Welcome, eh?

      Second, there isn’t a link for people to follow, but there is one attached to your name. You probably knew that, but I’m pointing it out to newcomers.

      Third, to get the results you want with commenting, I suggest you go get yourself a Gravatar. It’s free, and it’ll show on any blog on the internet that accepts your email address.

      Go to https://gravatar.com/ and follow the process. People, especially in conversations like this, want to see who they are talking to. Plus, you really want to be seen if you’re leaving comments =)

  3. Hi Jaime,

    I'm remembering pondering social media early on when I thought to myself, "No one cares what I made for dinner? Right?!" I was mistaken. Little things count.

    I don't know about brilliant, but I post things that I find interesting, and sometimes just plain goofy, as a way for folks to get to know me as Ellen the humorous. Sometimes it works.

    I love your suggestions and need to go find Kevin.


    1. Hello Ellen =)

      Yeah, I thought the exact same thing. Still do most days.

      That’s when my dear friend Lisa Norman talks sense into me.

      "Jaime, being yourself helps people connect with you…"

      "You’re made for this, Jaime. The little things matter more than you realize."

      "Jaime, you can’t let 1.5 billion gnomes, a senile wizard, and a green, cigar-smoking elf strutting around in polka-dotted boxer shorts stop you from being professional."

      …though I’m pretty sure the last one was actually, "Stop making excuses and write!"

      (Not true,….Lisa loves me.)

      The POINT here, and it sounds like you found it, Ellen, is you honestly don’t know what it IS about you that people will resonate with. All you really can do is make an educated guess, OR (like me) throw is ALL on the grill and see what sizzles.

      Personally, I love BBQ’s, so I’m all in.

      Kevin is still one of my absolute favorite writers. Don’t know if he writes anything else but blog posts…but if he wrote a postcard, it would be the most epic one you’d ever read. IMO, he’s that good.

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Ellen.

      Wishing you all the success you can handle!

  4. Jaime - this is delightful. You're one of the best I've seen at getting attention organically, by just being a fantastic creative person. The stories we tell attract people like a magician weaving a spell!

                1. Hey. That's not funny.

                  No impressions.

                  That's not what I sound like.


                  Thank you for jumping in and proving my point about being ourselves.

                  Appreciate you both.

  5. I'm a minor blogger, and get enough attention when I post, and converse a bit with commenters.

    That's fine - and suits my energy level.

    I have NO desire to manage huge numbers of followers - couldn't if I tried, and it wouldn't leave me time for writing.

    I ONLY want to find the people who might like my mainstream indie fiction - and persuade them to read, and have a place where people who find out I exist can come to see my wares.

    All I am is a writer of a particular kind of fiction, all I want is to spread that information. And, with posts and samples, persuade those who pop by to try reading more.

    I can't afford to be 'someone more' than I already am. I don't want to be the reason people read what I write. I want it to be all about the story. As I don't read Dickens because of who he was, but only because of what he wrote, I am uncomfortable with the attention of anyone but friends being all about me.

    Is this even possible any more? Is a fuss like the one made about Elena Ferrante simply a PR trick available with the help of a big publisher to goose sales?

    1. Sounds like you know exactly what you need to do, Alicia. That's awesome...

      You and I are much alike. I feel the same way, not interested in managing anything but the story I write. If people want to follow, let them. All I offer is an experience being exactly who I am.

      But that's the key. Being something more, for many writers, simply means stepping up to BE who they are...because they aren't there yet.

      Too many are trying to imitate someone else, tell someone else's story, or follow someone else's process.

      That doesn't seem to be you, and it's certainly not me.

      Keep going, because writing something famous and not BEING famous isn't just possible in today's world,...I think it's needed, more than ever.

      But that's just the opinion of a crazy family guy who prefers to hang out with people who don't exist.

      Lisa and I were talking not long ago that with my own goals, which mirror your own in many ways, substack is turning out to be the perfect platform.

      It's all about the story...and all their tools have taken the heavy lifting from off my shoulders. Now I spend more time writing the story tgab ever before, and "my" people are finding me...86% through referrals.

      I was.lucky to get 3-5% before moving to Substack, and I do LESS work promoting now.

      1. Are you saying you're SELLING on substack? That I'd be interested in.

        But I don't know if 1) I belong there - it depends on the other people already there.

        Or I would find MY readers there - ditto.

        Blogging and FB (for an on-line support group) are my places, and have their people (I haven't found the readers of mainstream fiction yet who will read indie), but I can't say I succeed at it, so much as they fill a needed outlet.

        Glad you like it.

        1. Oh yes, I’m selling on substack!

          My Wanted Hero fantasy world is hosted on WorldAnvil.com, which is where everything I create exists. I’ll do articles and sell books, etc….BUT the process of writing, the release of ALL my content is created and released to my community on substack.

          To clarify, when I say I’m ‘selling’ on substack (LifeOfFiction.com), I have subscriptions, where I sell access for $7/mo to my works as I write them. Then I post the publications and maintain links on Life Of Fiction for my readers to buy the digital, paperback and hardback versions of the books.

          The beauty of substack is how naturally you stay connected with your readers. I looooove it. So to the ‘boys’ - who you’ve seen reacting to Lisa below.

          BTW, Alicia, YOU determine if you belong there, not other people. I don’t fit in with the people on substack, which tends to be mostly political/food/health…but there are fiction writers also. What truly matters are the tools you’ll have access to, for free. I have saved hundreds of dollars a month moving to that platform.

          Now I pay ZERO a month.

          As for In-Yer-Face-Book, I have an account, and have pages and a community of about 4000 people, but on a completely different subject. They don’t have an effect on Life Of Fiction…but I DO drop posts there, from my personal page. I get traffic, and I get sign ups.

          Consider looking at substack a bit closer. It might be the unicorn in the manure pile of efforts. That’s what I found from digging around, anyway.

  6. I just try to keep it real and talk to readers like I would talk to a friend and sometimes share a story about myself.

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