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3 Things I Learned Last Week #18 – Decoding Ann Handley’s Take on AI in Writing

Howdy, fellow curiosity traveller!

Guess what? It’s time for another round of “3 Things I Learned Last Week”🎉!

Welcome to the 18th edition of this mind-blowing weekly adventure where I, your friendly neighborhood knowledge wrangler, distill the most fascinating morsels of wisdom from my never-ending learning journey. We are voyaging across a sea of articles, books, podcasts, YouTube videos, online courses, and more! Buckle up!

This week, our ship has anchored in the great ocean of writing in the AI era, inspired by my recent tête-à-tête with a little book called “Everybody Writes” by the word queen herself, Ann Handley.

Despite some doomsday preachers chanting “writing is dead” in this robotic age, our compass has led us to three of Handley’s articles that bravely defy the prophecy.

Alright, it’s showtime! So grab another cup of your favorite brew, kick back in your comfiest chair, and let’s hit the road!

🤖 1. AI: The Uninvited Guest at a Writer’s Party?

Dived into: What Does AI Mean for Writers?

Does AI spell ‘game over’ for writers? Handley says, “Heck no!” AI is like a shiny, new chainsaw in a world of axes. It can be an efficient tool if handled right or turn into a dangerous disaster if not.

But remember, it’s a guest at our party, not the host. AI might help us tidy up, but it can’t replace the discerning human touch in writing.

📇 2. From Typewriters to AI: The Evolution of a Writer’s Best Friend

Chewed on: AI Writing and Typewriters

Here’s a scoop for you: writing isn’t just spitting out words—it’s a full-contact MMA match with your brain, hands, personality, and voice all in the ring.

AI might give us a speedier first draft, but the real deal is the writer’s grit, flair, and bond with their audience.

The writing arena extends beyond mere words; it’s about crafting relationships and charging words with passion and power.

🚫 3. “Sorry, Robots. You Can’t Write Like Us!”

Pondered upon: How to Write Like Robots Can’t

AI is sometimes seen as a cheat code to writing, but Handley, with her red flag raised, warns that writing should be an active, thoughtful process that can’t be cloned by machines.

To ensure our writing stays as human as a heartfelt hug, she suggests using metaphors, diving deep into themes, adding sensory descriptions, and picking words as carefully as one would pick avocados at a supermarket.

Reading our writing aloud is also a reality check for its authenticity.

And there you have it! That’s a wrap for this week’s chapter of “3 Things I Learned Last Week.” If these nuggets about the love affair between AI and writing have left you thrilled and better equipped to navigate this ever-evolving world, then my mission here is complete!

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Here’s to a week of unearthing new insights, personal growth, and small joys!

Stay curious,

~ Nathan

P.S. If you’ve just skimmed down to this postscript because you’re busier than a mosquito at a nudist colony, here’s the gist:

This week, we explored the exciting crossroads of AI and writing. While AI is a powerful tool, it’s not the be-all-end-all of the writing process. It can help but can’t replace the unique human touch.

Our strength as writers lies in our ability to imbue words with meaning, connect with our audience, and engage in the full-contact sport that is writing.

Lastly, to keep our writing human and relatable in this era of AI, we can use strategies such as metaphors, exploring themes deeply, addressing the reader directly, adding sensory descriptions, and choosing words carefully.

In essence, it’s our thoughtfully crafted, human-infused writing that hits the heartstrings of our readers.

The author partially generated this content with GPT-4 & ChatGPT, Claude 3, Gemini Advanced, and other large-scale language-generation models. Upon developing the draft, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the content to their liking and took ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.






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