The metamorphosis is complete. I have transformed from a retired laboratory scientist into a self-employed writer. It’s nothing nearly as dramatic as the opening line to Kafka’s short story Metamorphosis where his protagonist finds himself “transformed in his bed into a monstrous insect.” But it is a definite change and for someone of my staid, predictable lifestyle, it’s rather astonishing.
Here I sit waiting for my manuscript to return, anticipating hours of work reviewing recommended alterations, deciding what to implement, and then applying the outcomes. To my dismay, I discover I need to write. So, what to do?
Blogging is my first choice. It is an activity I never considered in my wildest dreams before this writing bug bit me. I started this chronicle more than a year ago. I recall encouraging several of my peers to venture to this site and start reading about my writing adventure, only to be asked “What’s a blog?” And today I read in the Wall Street Journal’s Magazine about a grade school phenom who, at the age of eleven, started a tween fashion blog, received accolades and prestigious invitations to the join the trendy designer world, only to be slapped on her precocious wrists by envious onlookers. She survived the public scrutiny and now publishes an on-line magazine for like-minded females who are “fashion-obsessed, and a little offbeat.” What amazes me is the ease and comfort level the younger generation has with this charged electronic world. Things that I am just dipping my proverbial toe into such as building a platform, participation in social media, and blogging, are so “old” to the younger generation, they are considered obsolete.
When asked of late what I am doing during my “vacation” from my manuscript, I like to respond with a comment from one of my favorite British Comedy characters, Margot Ledbetter: “One dabbles.” There are other avenues I have been investigating: voicing my opinions in letters to the editor, learning all I can about freelancing, exploring the world of short story writing, entering writing competitions, attending writer’s conferences, pitching my manuscript, planning out my publicity campaign when I venture into the self-publishing and print-on-demand world.
The writing world is amazing. To a conventional person who has always needed time to assimilate change, this new environment seems like the expanding universe. And the writer’s world appears to have some similar sinister areas of dark matter, black holes, and mysterious forces beyond my control. So I continue my holding pattern and I dabble. The plot thickens.