Everybody can write.

Everybody can write. Just like everybody can tell a joke or dance. It’s just that some people do it more effectively than others. Some of us should keep our acts of dancing, joke telling and writing to pure self fulfillment. 

As our friend The Dude shows us, not everyone should dance in public. Ain’t nobody gonna pay for that. (Same goes for bad joke telling…check out the bit about the cockroach and enjoy the rest along the way – these guys can tell some jokes.)

Same goes for writing. There’s a difference between writing and strategic content. If the blogosphere has shown us anything, anybody with a computer can call themselves an author. And god bless ’em for it. Even sloppy writing can be entertaining for the audience and cathartic for the creator.

But if you’re crafting messages, stories or collateral to accomplish something specific for your brand or organization, amateur equals risk.

Your content needs purpose (why), audience (who), meaning (what), engagement (how and when). And if you’re writing for digital, the content needs to hit certain perimeters to be discoverable.

No doubt, the act of writing is organic and as natural as shaking your booty to a groovy beat. But mindless booty shaking won’t get you to Lincoln Center, bad jokes won’t get you to the Apollo, and bad content isn’t going to do you any favors. Know the difference between what you like to do and what you should be doing.

If you dance like Lebowski, hire Travolta as a body double. If you tell bad cockroach jokes, enlist Seinfeld to help. If your writing is more well suited to a personal journal, grab a pro to help you infuse some strategy.