How to Out-Write ChatGPT

Six ways to beat the bots.

Plenty of writers see ChatGPT as a threat because of its ability to generate readable content in a matter of minutes. 

For my part, I prefer to view it as a challenge. In fact, moving forward, when I see AI, I am going to think “Author Incentive” – motivation to continue to improve my writing.

No doubt, ChatGPT presents some unprecedented competition. But it didn’t take me long to conclude there are ways to consistently out-write it. In striving to do so, you can strengthen your writing to connect in more meaningful ways with your audience.

Here are six ways to beat the bots:

1. Draw from your experiences: Last I checked, ChatGPT can’t mine my memories or explore my thoughts. Finding ways to weave relevant anecdotes and insights from your own experience can help you create an original and engaging piece.  

2. Talk to humans: Or, put another way, rely more on interviews where you can capture the unique perspectives and voice of people you are writing about.

3. Stretch your creativity: The days of mailing in a lame draft are over. ChatGPT has that covered. Push yourself to find compelling and catchy ways to infuse fresh and surprising thinking into your writing. I recently wrote an op-ed draft in which I saw an opportunity to weave in a Dr. Seuss quote to make a point. ChatGPT cannot do that, no it can’t, it cannot do that with an ant.

4. Show don’t tell: This tried-and true maxim of good journalism takes on even more importance in the AI-era. Get out from behind your desk and into the field where you can experience the sights, sounds and smells that will help you capture the moment, and paint a fresh picture for your readers. 

5. Expand your reading: It’s tough to become a better writer if you’re not a consistent reader. Expand your range of reading to include poetry, novels, short stories, science journals, children’s books. Seeing how others use the language can help you define your voice and hone your writing. 

6. Use ChatGPT as a tool: I know this may be unexpected advice considering the focus of this piece. But used wisely, ChatGPT can help improve your writing. In fact, that last point I made about reading was generated via a prompt that I put in ChatGPT requesting an article about “How to write better than ChatGPT.”

ChatGPT has its place. But we’re a long way from replacing the work of a good writer. 

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Scott Westcott is Corporate Practice Leader at the thought leadership agency Turn Two Communications.

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