Writers have good reason to fear losing their jobs to machines. Although most Sci-Fi films show machines shutting down factories, it seems that AI has the ability to replace wordsmiths and fast food cashiers. There are many aspects of writing though that even the best AI of today can’t match. You might say it’s cheesy, but a human writer has a soul and independent thoughts outside of the information we’ve accumulated over a lifetime.
Step One: Build Your Communication Skills
Before you start any writing job, whether it’s your future New York Bestselling work of fiction or web copy for a client, work on your communication skills. Writing skills are a writer’s foundation, but general communication skills step outside of this narrow view of the field.
Build these skills:
- Give each sentence a purpose.
- Speak to avoid misunderstandings.
- Address emotional messages.
- Write in a friendly tone.
People have tonality, comprehension, and emotion over machines. Give each sentence a purpose, even if it is bridging two ideas together in a way that paints a larger picture. Speak to avoid misunderstandings, especially because there are many common misuses of phrases or idioms. AI may proofread for well-known expressions such as peace of mind. But a human will distinguish between when someone has “peace of mind” and when someone is giving someone else a “piece of their mind.”
Use your communication skills that you’ve spent a lifetime building. But, continue to build upon your knowledge by enhancing the emotional and more human charge of your content. You can do this by reading your work aloud after editing or imagine that you’re speaking to a friend while crafting your content.
Step Two: Incorporate Storytelling
From oral tales to marketing concepts, storytelling is captivating and above anything else, human. Until recently when AI software wrote both Harry Potter Fanfiction and completed the next Game of Thrones novel that people are still waiting for, but there’s a huge difference. The fan fiction, the book and other forms of AI can’t create coherent, original stories.
The foundation of storytelling includes delivering a message of awareness that the reader can identify with, have a clear purpose, faces some sort of struggle, has an emotional charge, and above all else, are simple. If you have a blog, you may employ storytelling in every post and not realize that what you’re doing is crafting a story where you faced a struggle, had some feelings about it and exacted a purpose that affected your life, or at least your day.
Web copy does the same thing from various perspectives, not all storytelling will host the writer as the narrator. Web copy for a towing company may put the reader into the thick of the story with questions such as “Did your car die again?” the question is emotion, gives a background of car troubles and shows the reader in the midst of a struggle.
Use storytelling, because it’s something AI simply can’t do, yet.
Step Three: Craft, and Create but Avoid Curating
Many of the writing opportunities available online including freelance work or blogging are some form of curation. Buzzfeed has stuffed the internet with lists of gifs that have a short one or two sentence quip, and it’s nothing original. AI could easily generate 10 free-to-use images and create a sentence or two based on Twitter’s trending topics.
But, a human can craft and create. Outside of storytelling, many factors go into creation. Not to mention that unoriginal, or plagiarized content will not get you anywhere with Google. Create original content that has your viewpoint, your opinion, and your ideas.
Finally, when creating excellent content, do something that machines definitely can’t do, offer human action! Lifehack.com and many other sites have gotten outstanding success because they give the reader something to do when they’re done the reading. Leaving your reader with actionable items shows that you know what you’re talking about, and it has a lasting impact. Whenever the person goes through that action, even months after reading your content, they’ll think of your information.
Step Four: Make Friends with AI
AI is definitely cause for a “friends close, but enemies closer” type of relationship. Not to mention, there are some genuinely useful machine learning tools for writers. As a writer, you already know about the struggle of editing. For some, it comes naturally, and for everyone else, it’s a minefield.
Use tools such as Grammarly or Quill which help writers edit their material for everyday grammar and syntax mistakes. But there are many other tools that are worth looking into, like Crayon. If you host a blog and feel like you’ve run out of ideas to write about, Crayon can help! What Crayon does is analyze a huge chunk of data based on what your competitors are posting and what’s successful for them and what isn’t.
BrightEdge is another AI tool that is excellent for bloggers and web copywriters. This software helps with SEO and takes care of many of the time-consuming tasks that can weigh writers down such as cross-linking and adding in tags.
Don’t avoid AI because it may replace writers some day in far-off future, instead use it as a tool for you to make your writing even better. High-quality content will trump AI generated material any day. As always, focus on high-quality and use steps here to ensure that writers have a long future without AI taking over!