The concept of authorship has changed dramatically with the invention of the worldwide web. Any individual who creates a YouTube video, posts on Instagram, or even writes a blog, presents their ideas to billions of others, with the possibility of a tremendous following. Often those internet celebrities seen in viral memes or videos, never intended for such an explosion, but in other cases that may have been the very result they had craved.
Nevertheless, it must be terribly difficult to retain self-identity when a product of one’s creativity and opinions could be viewed in such a public setting. Just overnight one million people could view this post allowing my own personal voice to spread rampant to the ears of unintended audiences. What if it receives negative feedback? Or nasty letters? If I persisted in writing these posts I would most certainly change my vocabulary, become an author who was intrinsically perfect in the methods displayed by Virginia Woolf, but not an author who I would recognize. It is true everyone is an author, because everyone has a unique, internal language that at all times is attempting to burst forth through language, art, or self-expression. But only the brave let that voice remain authentic.
The power that comes along with language remains the most intriguing part. There is not a more perfect example that comes to the top of my head than in William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” in which Antony persuades an enraged crowd to turn on the highly regarded Brutus. In utilizing the devices provided by rhetoric such as pathos, ethos, and logos, whole mobs and audiences can be persuaded to end war or cause it, build or destroy, love or murder.