Thanks to amazing tools such as ChatGPT, there is now a flood of well-written, functional, and useful writing to compete with if you’re a human writer. This means your writing needs to differentiate itself from this new breed of content. Here’s how to do just that.
Have an Opinion
Notwithstanding a certain vulgar saying about everyone having one, an opinion is an important aspect of human writing that sets it apart from AI. Opinions are a reflection of our personal experiences, values, and beliefs. They give depth and personality to our writing and help us connect with our readers on a deeper level. When we share our opinions, we are not just conveying information; we are also sharing a part of ourselves.
Of course, having an opinion doesn’t mean that you have to be controversial or extreme. You can express your opinion thoughtfully and respectfully which encourages dialogue and discussion.
Many of us who write do so in areas such as service journalism or technical writing, where you would think opinions are unwelcome. However, you can still integrate your viewpoint to some degree in a way that speaks to your intended audience.
Bring Your Life Experiences
Drawing from personal experiences is a powerful way to make your writing stand out from AI-generated content. Our backgrounds are what make us unique individuals, and they shape our perspectives and worldview. When we share our experiences, we invite our readers into our world and give them a glimpse into who we are as people.
Ironically, it’s because we have narrower perspectives than AI, such as Large Langauge Models (LLMs), that our views can be so dramatically shaped. Don’t be afraid to tap into your experiences to add flavor to your writing.
In the past, many editors would have discouraged you from bringing in anecdotes or reflections on past events that are relevant to the piece you’re working on. In the context of AI-generated content, though, that practice might change, since these highly-personal aspects of you are one way to differentiate your writing.
When sharing personal experiences, it’s essential to be authentic and honest. Readers can sense when someone is insincere or trying to be something they are not.
Focus on Prose
An emphasis on prose is crucial to making your writing stand out from AI-generated content. While AI language models excel at generating informative content, they often lack the creativity and artistry that come with well-crafted prose. As human writers, we can craft language in a way that is both informative and beautiful, which can engage and captivate our readers.
We as humans are capable of carefully choosing the right words and paying attention to rhythm and flow, but not everyone needed to put in the time before. This author included!
A beautifully crafted sentence or paragraph can elevate your writing and differentiate it from machine-generated content. A well-crafted sentence or paragraph can be a work of art in itself, engaging the reader and drawing them into the text.
Focusing on prose doesn’t mean sacrificing clarity or concision. Well-crafted writing should be both clear and concise while also engaging and beautiful. It’s another tall order to be sure, but likely a worthwhile one.
Connect With the Reader
While AI language models can generate informative content, they (currently) lack the ability to connect with the reader on an emotional level. As human writers, we have the power to create content that resonates with our audience, which can make our writing more relatable, engaging, and impactful.
When writing, it’s important to think about your audience and write with them in mind. This means using language and examples relatable to your readers and making them feel you understand their needs and concerns.
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Writing may be as much about building a personal relationship with your reader as it is about informing or entertaining them. To put it into more crass terms, your brand may now matter as much as your actual output.
As with AI art, and many other types of generative AI content, the ultimate audience is human. So whatever you write has to be in that context.
Most importantly, you shouldn’t make the mistake of ignoring or rejecting AI writing tools. In contrast, these tools can serve as a foundation to elevate your writing. When you don’t have to worry about some of the drudgeries that are part and parcel of manual writing, you have the time to focus on the more prosaic aspects of your craft.
When getting clinical, cheery text with all the factual parts of your message from a machine is so easy, you can take the time to chisel that machine-made marble into a reflection of yourself that readers will want to come back to.
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