How Content Writers can use ChatGPT as their Not-So-Secret Weapon

futuristic landscape with orbs inspired by hilma af klimt

How Content Writers can use ChatGPT as their Not-So-Secret Weapon

Artificial intelligence is another opportunity for you to be you 

Yesterday, my partner who is a high-school English teacher came home and said her mind was blown.

“By what?” I asked.

She was wide-eyed. Reeling in a paroxysm of ecstasy and fear.

“We are already living in the future.”

Of course, she was talking about the power of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which was released last November.

She gave me a full list of horror stories. The unmanageable risk of cheating on assignments. Now all assignments would be pen and paper and be done in the classroom.

“Your job is finished now,” she said. I felt unsupported and hurt.

I am a writer.

“AI can do anything,” she swooned.

“Not fiction,” I countered. “It’s hopeless at fiction.”

I mentioned the moral showdown a New York Times best-selling author previously had with the chatbot.

“It’s only a matter of time.”

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT by is a chatbot that uses natural language. You can type text-based questions or requests and it will deliver answers based on large amounts of regurgitated real-world data.

It was made by researchers at OpenAI, which is owned by Elon Musk and funded by partners including Microsoft.

Everything changes

Tim Denning, a fellow vegan Australian, encourages us all to stop wetting our pants. He believes ChatGPT is massively overhyped. It’s still in its infancy.

And if anyone is going to hold the reins, it’s us writers. We are the ones who should be driving the chatbot.

This is the critical question.

How can AI help your writing?

You are a human being. This means you have life experience. You can reflect, draw parallels, and help other people.

1. The research speed can help you scale.

As a content writer, I would generally spend four hours creating a client blog article. Two hours were for research alone. And I think that’s fast because I have to learn and understand as I go.

It’s nowhere near as fast as the seconds it takes the chatbot to spit out, line by line, a rudimentary first draft.

Now the research takes seconds. The trick is to form the right questions. That’s the power of a good journalist — the questions.

So that is opportunity number one. It can help reduce your research time. BUT you will still need to fact-check.

2. AI sounds as flat as a pancake.

AI has no personality. No subtlety. No nuance. No sense of humour. And it’s bereft of any lived experience because there isn’t any.

You can really tell it was written by a chatbot. It’s as boring as a wholemeal toilet paper sandwich.

You can do better.

You can inject some silicon into those thin words and make them plump and rich and meaningful.

Good writing isn’t only about producing clear and grammatically correct information, it should also be a pleasure to read. It should hook a reader and compel them to keep reading. It should have personality.

Give it some juice.

3. Add your human life experience.

Life experience is your inimitable strength. You are not a replicant. 

You can’t be replaced with an operating manual.

You can use ChatGPT for vomit copy. But it needs a story. Draw on your life experience. Start with the big picture. Why? What problem does this solve?

Everyone craves stories, they are how we make sense of the world.

Be personal and human. The combination of human experience with machine precision is a powerful combo, in my view. So consider the benefits.

Remember, Everything Changes

Librarians once wore cardigans and worked with dusty books. Gone are the sensible shoes. Now librarians are cutting-edge managers.

The more you understand a subject, the more interesting it becomes. Only humans can feel a grand neurochemical high from learning.

If teachers can coach students to enjoy English or art, and understand it, the students’ brains will grow.

Or may even spark the joy of writing or reading.

Wrapping up

Try and ChatGPT and Dall.E for your images. It’s fun. It’s like Disneyland for adults.

But don’t get morbid on me now. Use it to help yourself.

This is an opportunity for YOU. Dale Carnegie once wrote in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living about how incomprehensibly unique you are.

paper back copy of Dale Carnegie’s book with section highlighted in pink. Text reads ‘You are something new in this world.’ and extended quoted section.
Source: Author photo

“There was once one chance in 300,000 billion that the person who is specifically you would be born.”

You are unique in this world.

Never before, since the beginning of time, has there ever been anyone exactly like you; and never again, through all the ages to come will there ever be anyone exactly like you again.

Now if the time to tap into your gift of You.