5 Ways ChatGPT Could Be Harming Your Writing – Forbes

5 ways ChatGPT could be harming your writing
You can use ChatGPT to learn your style, write your website homepage and compose your emails, but does it mean you should? Purist writers say no. They believe large language models fill up the internet with waffle and low quality content. They think AI writing tools do more harm than good and stress that writing of the human kind is good for the soul, brain and business. But who do you believe?
Putting the case forward for human-only writing is Kieran Drew, a professional writer who quit dentistry and shares what he learns as he builds his creator business. With 175,000 Twitter followers (having only opened his account in August 2020) and over 25,000 subscribers to his Digital Freedom newsletter, he’s explaining the frameworks and strategies that have kept him in the game. Prominent content creators learn how to write from Drew’s suggestions, and they see their metrics move soon after applying his methods.
When ChatGPT launched in 2022, many creators jumped on board to experiment and see what they could do. But Drew is far from convinced the pros outweigh the cons, and here are his five arguments to consider for yourself.
“Writing is thinking,” said Drew. And if something else is doing the thinking for you, your writing lacks depth. The magic is in the process of idea generation. “All my best ideas have come from writing. Often it’s the hours wrestling with words and slaving over sentences that lead to new and exciting insights,” he said, believing, “the more you outsource the creative process, the less creative you become.”
Drew also questions ChatGPT’s ability to give you unique ideas, which he said is, “What you need to stand out in an age of AI-generated thinking.” A camel is a horse designed by a committee, as the saying goes. Could ChatGPT be making a camel out of your racehorse of an idea?
Sure, you can punch some prompts into ChatGPT and get a whole load of text in an instant, but does speed really matter that much? “Speed has a dark side,” said Drew. “Think of the difference between reading a book and watching a YouTube summary. While you get the best ideas in much less time, you rarely remember or act on them.” He thinks AI-generated content brings a similar negative.
Drew said that taking longer to think through an idea and bring it into life sentence by sentence “won’t be quicker, but it will be better.” What is your priority and are you using AI in line with that? Could you spend a few extra hours in a bid for quality, and art that stands the test of time?
“It’s paradoxical, but the best way to build an audience of thousands is to write to one person,” said Drew. He calls this person your “one true fan” and explained “the aim is fans, not followers.” Creating reams of AI-generated content for SEO purposes might make some sense, but your goal is to attract a tribe. This happens by communicating, “shared values, desires, dreams, fears, pains, and problems with people just like you.” Here’s the problem: ChatGPT is not a person.
Instead of outsourcing your brain to a large language model, “think about who you’re writing to. Put yourself in their shoes when you edit. When you publish, listen to their feedback,” said Drew. Demonstrate the empathy that a robot simply can’t, to give your audience, “connection over content.”
“ChatGPT is just a bank of information. The most sophisticated algorithm in the world,” said Drew, who has seen what happens to creators who follow algorithms on social media. Spoiler alert: it isn’t good. “The way you stand out as a writer is by sounding and saying something different to the crowd,” which he doesn’t believe AI is capable of, adding that “if you outsource writing to a robot, the best case scenario is you sound like a robot.”
Drew advises you try a different strategy. “Imitate your favourite writers then add your own quirks,” instead of being an imitation of everyone else. “If you want people to love what you write, put in the reps. It’s the only way your voice comes through.”
Drew is proud of his writing skills and wants you to be proud of yours. “Competence breeds confidence. I know I could bang out a good email, article, or sales page in a short amount of time,” even with no internet connection. Drew warns against overreliance on tools, which can become a crutch. “Sure, use ChatGPT sparingly for research tasks. But when it comes to writing, stick to the keyboard.” Develop reliance on only yourself.
Not needing external tools requires that you, “Enjoy the process, even if it is painful,” said Drew. But this brings more benefits. “Writing about your ideas brings them to life, like having a conversation with yourself.” Not only do you learn faster, but you communicate more concisely. You hone a skill. “The more you write the better you speak, with friends, clients or on a podcast.”
Do you use ChatGPT to write your content or do you become more skilled at doing it yourself? Which is better for your business and which is better for you? Drew strongly argues you spend unassisted time on the page. “Writing is the most powerful form of communication,” he said, and over a long time frame, “it’s a skill that will set you apart.”