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I Don't Use AI for Writing. Here's Why.

"To use chat GPT or not to use chat GPT, that is the question," Hamlet once famously said. Give or take a few words.

I'm addressing the topic of AI for the obvious reason: It's a growing area of debate. If you use chat GPT regularly or find yourself in a line of work where it's infinitely easier to knock out sections of copy with AI's help, don't worry. This is not about to become a witch hunt.

Instead, I will kick around some ideas and let you into my thought process for why I don't use AI to write. Everything you read here is made from scratch.

1. Writing is a Skill

Like all skills, writing consists of muscles that operate best when exercised.

We lose tone when we rely on automation.

Yes, automation is infinitely faster, and we'll get to that later on in this list. Automation is also easier and more convenient. But we lose the character and the grit creatives have had to muster across history, by generating and refining their craft, when we let AI do all the legwork for us. Plus there's that whole "develop your voice," idea, which is difficult to do without literally writing.

2. The Contents of Your Mind and Heart go Unchecked

My therapist's side is about to rear its head here, full-force. Writing is a phenomenal way to identify what you're thinking. Emotions also reveal themselves, unprompted, on the page. But if you turn to chat GPT to articulate your thoughts, chances are high that you'll never know what those really are. And they will ambush you later on. (Rarely at a convenient time.)

For me, I have found it valuable to get my ideas on paper without a middleman running interference. Yes, sometimes that means I discover I have not given something as much thought as I thought I had (funny how that works). And sometimes more emotion leaks out on the page than I am comfortable with. But the process of getting words out, organizing them, and paying attention to them, has strengthened my self-awareness – all the while toning those writing muscles I was talking about before.

3. The Capacity for Innovation is Reduced

There's no denying that writing from scratch takes more time. But what if there's a dark side to needing to be fast? I call this the underbelly of efficiency. I wrote about it at length in the *Re-Thinker newsletter, but here's an excerpt that summarizes the idea:

The Underbelly of Efficiency

What if our unchecked drive to get things done is costing us our creativity?

4. AI Doesn't Challenge You to Grow Empathy for Your Audience

You may have noticed, but people are pretty loud online. Typically angry, if we're being more specific. In the marketing world, it is easy to dehumanize people and see them as a number. Some of this circles back to speed. We're so busy getting things done we don't register the impact we're having on people. And I'm not talking about analytics here.

It's not, Did you reach them?

It's, How are they after the encounter?

Writing from scratch, I've noticed, has slowed me down enough to think about how you, as a reader, might hear my words. And I can attest that the more I'm obsessed with knocking things out fast, the less I care about its impact.

Writing from scratch keeps me mindful of my words.

5. I Love Writing

It really is as simple as that. And when you love something, even during writer's blocks and slumps, it's worth it to keep at it until the spark is back.

If this is you – you love writing - but now it's a chore, or you're trying to sort out how much to use AI or not, I'd love to work with you. Connect with me via the Consulting page linked below. Let's get your spark back.


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