It’s no secret I’m utterly obsessed with Chat GPT and its effects on writers and creators. Am I done talking about it? Not even close.
While I tend not to get too ruffled about the latest tech geegaws, I knew this one could not be ignored, so riotous was the outcry for and against. Plus, I wanted to see for myself what all the fuss was about. And if this handy tool could be my writing sous chef, getting the tedious mise-en-place ready so I can swoop in and cook up some original copy and content, all the better!
So, in January, I signed up for Chat GPT and got a paid subscription to Jasper, an AI writing tool specifically for content creators and copywriters.
OK, first the bad (but actually good) news: You still need to write.
Unless you want to sound like a moderately bright 11th-grader trying too hard to sound smart or a bland internet business bot (i.e., Chat GPT), you’ve got to do the heavy lifting. And that’s good, because your originality, your creativity, your uniquely human ability to process and share your experiences through words (and clay, and film, and violin, etc.) is still your most valuable asset, your key differentiator.
But! And this is a big but (heh heh): these tools are fast, free (in the case of ChatGPT, at least for now), and helpful. I’ve been playing around with them, and they come in handy in a few key ways:
1. Getting Started
Oh, where to begin? The blank page is daunting, all the white space waiting to be filled. These AI tools can help get you unstuck if you’re stalling at the start.
Simply input your topic, ask for a short piece, and see what comes back. I’ll look for key ideas or words that get my thoughts going, a prod to get at your perspective.
This is especially useful if your topic isn’t all that inspiring or your energy is low. Some days, even as a professional writer, it just isn’t flowing. This is an excellent way to jumpstart your creative process.
I used to gently mock my tech-challenged parents for using Bing as their search engine. Well, the Bingster and mom and dad had the last laugh in February, when Microsoft announced that Bing is getting a major upgrade, to combine search and GPT functionalities.
Even to a relative tech Snow White like me, this made sense. Research is primarily how I’ve been using Chat GPT. Trained on over 8 million documents and over 10 billion words, it’s an expert on many different topics (or at least an expert retriever and synthesizer of information). I use it to help me understand new, complicated or technical topics or to take the temperature on topics. Reading a handful of different articles is great, but it can be time-consuming, depending on the topic’s complexity. A chatbot effortlessly summarizes ideas in a few short paragraphs, and if you have additional questions, just ask!
Do you need to write a blog on making a perfect cup of coffee at home, but you’ve never used an electric drip coffee maker? A robot can explain the basics of it to you in a few seconds flat. You can now take these basic facts and write a fun article in your voice.
3. Testing Headlines
I have a love-hate relationship with writing headlines. Love, because they are so important, and they’re really powerful when they hit. Hate, because I tend to try way too hard to be cute, funny or intelligent, the result being potentially unintelligible and, therefore, unengaging headers.
And with the added pressure to make everything SEO rich, well, a lot is riding on your headline.
My writing process has typically been to write a bunch of headlines in various styles: straight, witty, offbeat, direct, action-oriented. Then I’d cull the best ones or share the list with collaborators or clients to weigh in. Now, I’m bringing the bots into this phase, inputting my headlines, and asking for variations, to see if it serves up a fresh word or phrase that I can use.
Or I’ll write a straight one and then get the program to serve up variations in different tones.
I’ll also use it for SEO to ensure I have the right keywords. The tools aren’t doing the writing wholesale; they’re more like an editor or colleague with whom to brainstorm and test ideas.
4. Bulk Content Creation
I love cooking but hate doing the dishes. And I love writing long-form but balk at drafting social media captions to promote and share these posts.
Dilemma! Until now.
Writing tools like Jasper.ai are the ultimate social media content creation hack. You can bulk-create captions, schedule them and not think about your social media posting for weeks! Genius. I’m still using my original source material, getting the tools to break it into digestible caption bites. And, of course, I’ll still review those social media posts to ensure it’s retained my voice and meaning.
By quickening this process, it frees you up for more high-value work, like writing those long-form posts. And if nothing else, you have some help with a monotonous but necessary task.
Have you been using ChatGPT for your writing? Comment below so I can try to spot it!