AI and being a Writer in 2023

The New Age of AI

Anyone involved in freelance writing today has felt the chill of the coming winter of AI, led by faceless bots, threatening to take away writing assignments that were already few and far between.

We are besieged by news posts, social media feeds and even people we know IRL, asking, “Aren’t you afraid AI writing technology will replace you?”

It is a question that needs to be considered. I have used AI as a jumping off point when no other muse is willing to show up, as well as a way of proofreading and editing my work. What I haven’t done is the (shudder) total cut and paste, allowing a bot to write it for me.

Editors will already wrongly suggest submitted content is AI generated, and not original work. There are improvements that need to be made on that technology.

The Writer’s Voice

I haven’t done that, not because it feels a little like cheating, although writing is a business and all’s fair in this world of making a living, but because I have discovered AI robs my writing of my voice. It comes off a little stilted, more formal, and worse, ends up poorly written. If I can see it, anyone who knows my style can also, and new readers will never know me as a writer.

AI-powered content creation cannot replace a writer’s unique voice, not yet, although anytime I see a general post updating the world on the advancements in robotics, or deep fake videos on social media, I do admit I see that future racing towards us. It’s a hell of a struggle to not fight back with the tool’s others are using, getting published with, getting paid for. But, after I read over a chapter I was working on after Grammarly got hold of it, I was left with the realization that I couldn’t find myself in the work. Grammarly had taken my voice out of the creative process. I had vanished.

What Can a Writer Do?

I reduce the control Grammarly wields, reject dire warnings about clarity and context if I, the writer, feel what I am trying to convey is lost in the pursuit of perfection. I still find Grammarly and Rytr to be excellent tools when used as an accompaniment to my creative process, not as a replacement for myself.

Writers aren’t perfect, and they shouldn’t be. I will accept the shame of incorrectly placed commas and all other mistypes to preserve my voice.

In chasing that mirage, we end up with a reflection of what we already see on Instagram, Tik Tok, etc., everything overlaid with a perfection filter, auto tuned to a copy of what we think the world wants to see, what we believe the world wants to read.

I stay on top of AI developments, I research the tools, and I predict, as best I can, where it might be headed. I utilize AI tools, while struggling to make certain they don’t use me.

I believe keeping control over what we write needs to be added to keeping the faith in ourselves that we have always needed as writers in order to simply produce.

Have your own thoughts and opinion on AI and writing in general? Drop a comment or contact me directly.

I promise, I’m not a bot.

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