It had to have been easier for him, right? Shakespeare was able to simply embrace his genius and worry about writing. For him it was about the quill and ink, the storytelling and characters and getting the plays ready to present on stage as soon as possible. He didn't have to build an online platform, upload scenes on youtube, twitter his mind-blowing tweets in less than 120 characters, update his status regularly on facebook, or religiously follow the blog posts of fellow writers.
I envy him.
Sure, it would have been hard to have had to write everything by hand. To pore over each letter in hopes that the ink would outlast the creative inspiration and that the wick of the candle would burn the entirety of a writing session. He may not have had internet or word processing to ease the process, but he had the glorious experience of complete immersion in the presentations of his writing. The plays were written, sometimes collaboratively with other poets, sometimes with scenes that had been changed the day of a performance, but always with words as the center. It is no longer an option for the modern writer.
If he were around today, I do wonder how Shakespeare would handle the modern media battle.Would he be writing poetry or screenwriting for the next blockbuster? Would his work be presented on stage or online? Would he find his niche with novels or would he be satisfied with regular blog posting? I wonder. I suppose what is most interesting is the fact that a man who has been dead since 1616 has over 35,000 fans on his facebook fan page. He is popular and his writing is read all over the world. Not because he is good at building an online profile and not because he navigates the web well. Shakespeare is still popular because the writing is genius and the words will eternally retain their power.
In line with how Shakespeare has always inspired me, I did a little experiment this weekend. I went back to my poetry...the hand-written kind, and I made an attempt (albeit a rather poor one) to voice what I think Shakespeare might say today. To all of you well-read Shakespeare experts, I apologize for my hack job, and yes, I know it is not in pentameter. My computer was acting up...while the tv blared in the background...and my cell phone was ringing off the hook. Next time I'll pull out the quill and ink, light a candle and unplug everything.
'Tis greater to be fanned than to be followed
Though both give needed weight to labored words.
At night I toil with quill and pen to save them;
Ideas...some profound and some absurd.
I am but a mere blink if no one knows me.
If stories go unheard...have they been told?
'Tis not that I can help but try to tell them;
The stories of the meek... the wild... the bold.
The words; they are the true unfailing comrads
For them I'll suffer through what I must do.
To upload scenes onto the youtube webpage
To tweet and link and blog...I'll suffer through.
But know the words are why I'll often visit,
The pages and the words from friend and foe.
'Tis how I know my life's been lived with meaning
And where I'll put the words and let them go.