Lafishman’s Blog

March 19, 2009

Everyone’s a Writer/The Democratization of Talent

Filed under: Uncategorized — lafishman @ 2:54 pm

As a young copywriter, it didn’t take long to learn that almost every client and agency colleague fancied himself or herself a competent writer…at least competent enough to advise the one they were paying to do the job. Makes sense. Suggest to most people they take a crack at art direction or design and you’ll get, “Oh no, I can’t draw a straight line.” But anyone who can put pen to paper – make that finger to keyboard – and string letters into words…well, they can write.

So 30 years into my professional writing career, why should I be surprised that every Tom, Dick and Mary is taking a shot at blogging and internet poetry? With user-generated content, wikis and free blogs allowing for unfettered expression, writing is now anybody’s –  and everybody’s – game.

Oh, you say, but the world will weed out the bad ones and the cream will rise to the top. I get it. The New York Times Bestseller List serves its purpose. If a book is that popular, is must be great, right? Not necessarily. Isn’t it possible for 2,000,000 to be wrong? Think Sodom and Gemorrah. Think Chris Daughtry. Just because most people are not erudite enough to appreciate great literature or art doesn’t mean it isn’t great, or that the most popular work is. How many box office hits rose to the top on the merit of their sophomoric content, while examples of truly fine filmmaking never find their way to the Cineplex?

I’m worried. How many of these Twittering poets will I have to wade through to find the serious ones? You can’t tell by how many followers they have. Those are probably the poet wannabes playing poetic telephone with the originator.

More worrisome, now that the internet has given every person in the world a writer’s license, how long before the educated, veteran writers among us become obsolete? Who needs to hire an experienced copywriter when you can get the intern to throw together a blog or tweet? That’s assuming that the client doesn’t take it on himself.

I already feel the moss growing. So here I am, writing my first blog entry. Am I worthier than any other of the 100,000 bloggers out there? I guess you’ll tell me.


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