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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Still Nearly Famous

Back when I landed the co-hosting slot of the CBC pilot "If Your Parents Split," one of the actors gave me a very nice card and a simple button that read "I'm Nearly Famous." I wore that button for years and it remains in my collection, though I don't wear it around town anymore. I thought the sentiment was cute and it helped keep me grounded during those heady teenage days of near-fame. It was and is a good reminder not to take myself too seriously.

The pilot wasn't picked up, but it did earn a couple of awards, and since then I've had a series of medium-profile jobs and activities that haven't exactly catapulted me to fame, but have put me in the orbit of a few reasonably famous people. I've certainly never wanted fame for its own sake, but it some degree of notoriety goes hand-in-hand with the careers and activities I've pursued: acting, politics, writing. I'm drawn to these activities for a number of reasons. I like writing and other creative pursuits because, well, they're creative; I enjoy exercising my imagination and bringing something new into the world. I gave politics a try because I thought perhaps I could help people. I never pursued acting or the theatre seriously, but I did dabble from junior high school to university and quite enjoyed it.

My greatest dream has always been to have my name in print, something I technically accomplished back in 1997 with the publication of my first freelance article. Of course the BIG dream was to be listed as the author of a book - again, something I almost accomplished with Herbs & Edible Flowers, in which I'm listed as the co-writer with (the much more famous) Lois Hole. But that wasn't quite enough either. In truth, my biggest dream remains to finish a novel and have it published. It could sell five copies for all I care; I just want that book on my shelf with my name on it. Why? Well, for whatever reason I decided at a very young age I wasn't going to have children, and on some level I want to leave something of myself behind; a novel would fill the bill very nicely.

But given the slow demise of traditional publishing and my own lackadaisical habits, I doubt I'll ever see that dream fulfilled. I still have hopes of selling another short story, but a novel...well, that dream is more distant now. By the time I finish I'm sure traditional publishing will be dead and gone and I'll have to settle for e-publishing, which I'm not knocking at's just not the dream I had in mind.

On the other hand, this blog hit a new high of just over 8,000 page views last month. When I started this project I assumed I'd be writing just for me and maybe a few friends; it was really just a way to experiment with new media. Now it appears I have a much larger audience than I ever intended, and it's frankly a little intimidating. Now I know how cartoonists feel, trying to craft something funny 365 (or 366) days a year. It's a grind and some days you know you're disappointing your readers.

Like tonight, maybe...some nights insight comes easily, some nights you ramble.

Fame? I guess I'd like just a little - just enough that maybe fifty or seventy-five years from now - it would be the height of hubris to hope for more - a few people will know that I existed. Why that should be important to me I honestly don't know, but there it is.


Totty said...


You're only 8 days behind on the novel writing.

Anonymous said...

Don't despair! I for one am fighting for traditional publishing and am sure one way or another you'll have a book with your name on it as author one day.

"Jeffllegiance" said...

If there's no books, then there's no Samuel T. Cogley, and then the Starfleet brig will surely stink with Kirk-funk until the end of days. Then who's gonna wrestle the Mugatu? Captain Garth?? So best make with the wordsmithery, chop-chop. There's a universe to be saved!