Surviving and Thriving As a Writer in the Age of AI

8 Mar 2024 The Writing Craft, Tools

A Guest Blog by Jodie Hurst


The age of Artificial Intelligence is here, and you may be confused as to how you should feel about it. Should you feel happy that super-efficient tools can aid your writing? 

Or should it alarm you that AI can produce in seconds what it takes you hours or even days to write? Will AI make you dependent and affect the originality or integrity of your work? 

The Importance of Adaptation 

To stay relevant, and to truly connect with readers, you need to grow with the changing trends, market demands, and technological advances. Adaptability allows you to explore new ideas and reach wider audiences with your writing. 

The Changing Landscape 

Writing has come a long way from clay tablets, papyrus, parchment, and the  typewriter, to digital tools. You must force yourself to be tech-savvy these days. Having brilliant ideas and being able to express them well is no longer enough.

Rise of the AI-generated Writing Tools

Around this time last year, ChatGPT set the record as a consumer application with the fastest-growing user base. It went viral almost immediately after its launch and generated widespread excitement and fascination due to its ability to generate contextually relevant human-like text. The success of ChatGPT led to a wave of interest in AI tools and the mushrooming of such AI writing apps. AI tools have risen like dragons from small streams and it is up to writers to tame these dragons and put them to use. 

Where AI Excels

In the time it takes you to sit in your chair to write, AI can produce writing on any topic. It can condense information from lengthy texts and summarize it in seconds or a couple of minutes. 

The style and tone of AI-generated content remains consistent throughout, causing some users to present it in professional settings. 

The capabilities will continue to grow and improve, but the question remains: do we want AI to do our writing for us? 

What Humans Can Do Better

AI-generated pieces are akin to instant noodles; the preparation is simple, convenient, and saves time. On the other hand, human writing is gourmet fare. The taste of instant noodles cannot compete with the complex and nuanced flavor of gourmet dishes. 

The difference between AI and human writing is that AI simply does not create the same kind of reading experience. Only you can evoke emotional responses from your readers with the right words. It’s you who can make readers laugh and cry, feel anger, happiness, and the whole range of emotions. 

You adapt your writing to the felt needs of your readers. You bring style and substance to the table. Whether it’s inserting subtle context-specific humor, sarcasm, cultural insights, or witty remarks in the right places, you keep readers engaged Your job is to strike the perfect balance between artistic expression and technical proficiency. 

You draw from personal experience and write in your own style, bringing a piece to life. Your imagination, intuition, perspectives, common sense, and creative flair add a richness that makes your writing appealing and relatable. AI is unable to match that. 

Leveraging AI

Although AI cannot and should never write for you, you can use it to become a better writer. You’ve been using AI for research for years, whether you’re aware of it or not. When you Google something and get over a million suggested resources in less than a second, you know that’s AI, not some librarian thumbing through a file cabinet at light speed. 

You add the human perspective. If you’re not sure how to use AI applications for for research and analysis, here are a few ways you can:

  • Word search. If you can’t recall a word or don’t know which to use, state your problem to an AI app, and it will fetch and suggest multiple options.
  • Editing and proofreading. Some AI tools can parse sentences and point out mistakes or let you know if everything seems correct. 
  • Objective feedback. AI tools like Grammarly, ChatGPT, and ProWritingAid can tell you how your writing sounds and offer suggestions for improvement.
  • Titles and headings. Prompt AI with your subject, audience, and other details, and it can come up with suggestions you can tweak to your liking. 
  • Simplify complex topics. AI can give you a quick overview of the subject.

Occasionally, AI makes mistakes. Its tools struggle with bias of training data, understanding context and nuance, and a lack of creativity. Compare any AI input with empirical (experiential) data to be sure it’s accurate.

In the age of AI, writers need to become more resilient. It has always been an important trait for writers, but it’s even more vital for surviving and thriving in this AI-induced panic and confusion. 

Ethical considerations in AI-driven content creation

Among myriad other reasons you should not dream of letting AI write for you, plagiarism is the most significant concern. AI models are trained on data, and this includes the work of other people. 

The key is to use AI for other than actual writing, such as research, understanding large bodies of text, figuring out what’s trending, style analysis, sentiment analysis, fact-checking, generation of creative prompts (to overcome writer’s block), and even proofreading. 

Your readers expect authenticity and want to read the work of a human; they want to learn from your expertise. If you copy and paste AI-generated content, your readers will feel deceived, annoyed, and hurt. And rightfully so. 

Biased data can result in discriminatory, unfair, and misleading information. Your writing should be fair, accurate, and inclusive, reflecting your own views.  

What’s the Future Look Like?

AI has automated and sped up various tasks, but there will always be a need for writers like you. 

Familiarizing yourself with new technologies helps you stay ahead of the curve. Some of the latest advancements: 

  • AI-powered writing assistants that offer real-time suggestions
  • Augmented proofreading for visualizing text on screens/physical documents and detecting errors with precision
  • Combination of VR (Virtual Reality) and AI for virtual reality writing spaces, where writers can immerse themselves in a digital realm that depicts their story settings

Master helpful AI tools while maintaining your authenticity and distinctiveness. Pablo Picasso said: Learn the rules like a pro, so that you can break them like an artist. 

View AI applications as just more paintbrushes for your writing art. Rather than fearing or ignoring AI, embrace its power and potential. It can serve as your personal assistant for research and routine tasks, allowing you more time to focus on improving your craft and immersing yourself in your writing. 

Adopt a quality-focused approach toward your writing and remember that you can do what AI can never: be human.


Jodie is a financial analyst turned entrepreneur who advises businesses on using technology to manage teams, upskill staff, and streamline business processes.