KJayMiller: On personal blogs and AI

“If writing is not your thing that is okay. There are other ways of communication that you can lean on to help. If you are better at talking through a point, then create audio or even video (you can also publish these) and use AI to transcribe your content and then modify it to read better.”

A fantastic piece, and hits at a point I’ve been feeling.

Years ago I set out a goal to write a thousand words a day, six days a week. I kept it up for almost three years; I’d have to check the dates to be sure. In that time I wrote seven novels; and actually managed to publish three of them. I also wrote many words on my blog, countless words in my private journals, and probably a score of short stories. What that helped me do, more than anything else, was start to get a tiny glimpse of my voice in who I am. 

That’s aided me so much in the past few years in being comfortable with writing. Does that mean my writing is good? No. But it means it’s not horrible. And occassionally, sometimes, I’m quite proud of it. I hope to keep improving on my voice and tone for years to come. But the bottom line is whatever I put out is me. 

I tested apps like Grammarly and ProWritingAid years before AI became mainstream. I found them helpful to clear out some of my quirks. However, the thing I’ve noticed more and more with millions turning to ChatGPT is the loss of their own voice in the mix. Turn to it, sure, use it; that’s fine, but add back in your voice to make it yours. That’s what I’m here for, that’s what I care about.

I recently attended an event with two speakers that called out the contrast so clearly. One read perfect words from a script for ten minutes straight (with appropriate pauses for claps). The words were good, but had no meaning, no impact, no punch. I struggled to focus. I don’t know if it was ChatGPT, but it really came off like it was written from a prompt on what that particular talk should be about. The other speaker came up, and spoke from their heart with meaning. There were a few things wrong with their speech technically, but I felt moved, I felt the power coming from their conviction and care, and I tuned into every word. That’s what matters, and that’s why I want to show up to listen to someone.

I’ve been playing with ChatGPT since it came out, trying to figure out how it would work, but at the end of the day I appreciate that the journey of figuring out who I am as a writer started just a bit before its arrival on the scene. I’m curious how this will shape me and others in the years to come.