I’ll be interviewing Margaret Atwood in little more than a week, and I’m wondering what I might talk to her about. I hear she’s a serious twitterer, so I was thinking I’d ask her how that’s going. I’m sure no one has done that before.
I rarely Twitter. I never text. But it seems like there are hordes of folks busy at it. Some people are tweeting poems. Others are writing novels serialized in posts of 140 characters. I hear these novels are big in Japan. Words, words, words. Between the Blogosphere and the Twitterati, the social networkers and self e-publishers of all stripes, an awful lot of people are writing. More every day. Some think this a bad thing, that somehow rare and golden flecks of genius will be lost in the dust storm.
When I was a kid the number of people who live in China and India sparked my imagination. I didn’t know the number, really—just that more than half of all the people in all the world lived in those places. I considered that if every Chinese and Indian got up on a stepstool and leapt off together at just the right moment, the impact of all those feet hitting the ground at once would send the world careening into the sun. The thought still makes me smile.
So what if everyone got up tomorrow and, instead of merely feeling they had a story or poem inside of them, took the leap to write it down. What if they twittered or blogged it; texted, kindled, or simply went old school and scribbled on paper or their walls or their arms? What if the sun came up on a planet awash in stories and poetry? It would be apocalyptic. Something huge would crumble. Great glaciers would melt and move and reshuffle the continents. I can almost hear the crack and crunch of it. What a lovely day to be alive that would be.
I still don’t know what I’m going to talk to Margaret Atwood about. But I’m going to pay more attention to Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarkAri.