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Do You Want to Be Famous?
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The storm turned out to be a minor one, as these things go. Less than 10 inches of snow, judging from the deck railing. Today the wind's got up. Out in the pines, snow rises into the air like smoke. Scales of snow shed by boughs drift to the ground with the exagerrated slowness of autumn's last leaves. Inside, my attention has been drawn to a website for people who want to be famous.

An author who wants to be famous ( it would be sheer meaness not to throw a link to someone who so wants to be famous) drew the attention of mail list recipients to a PRWeb press release about his experience on The Game to Fame site. People post photos and publicity blurbs then vote for each other. Whoever receives the most votes is the most famous.

Why so many people want to be famous is something I've never quite understood. Probably, in part, it is because, as the fame site's founder, David Ho, puts it, in describing the effects on contestants of such fame generating tv shows as "American Idol" ".. they become famous. The fortune follows shortly afterward." Money and fame attract each other in our society and "being famous" has the advantage that it is a state one can simply "be in," without lifting a finger. A way to be rich without work.

I think there's more than money to it, though I may be wrong. People want...more. Maybe it is just an inate desire for the rest of the universe to acknowledge us as the center-of-everything that we necessarily seem to ourselves.

Do people want to be writers because they want to be famous, or because they want to be rich? Or both? Current thinking is that a writer needs to be at least a little famous in order to sell books at all. I don't want to be famous. I write because I am a private person. My idea is that if you write well enough, about something of interest to them, people will buy your books. If there is, in fact a reader who buys books based on the authors' jacket photos, it's nothing to me because I can guarantee such a reader wouldn't like anything I might ever write. We two would barely have a foot in the same reality.

Promoting myself is something I dread. There are writers who delight in book signings, readings, talks. I would much rather my words go out and meet the public. They are much better at it than I am. Today, with all the snow we've had, they can still get out.

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