Skip to content

Developing a new ChatGPT workflow (2)

Most people’s experience of ChatGPT has been to get it to write articles for them. That’s fine, but those of us who are happy with our writing style have found that its output isn’t very satisfying. Power users claim they have sophisticated prompts which can produce excellent results, but the time saving is still questionable, however little we have to re-work the output.

The traditional way that most of us write any piece is:

  1. Think about the ideas
  2. (maybe) Sketch out an outline
  3. Write the article
  4. Edit the article

The way many people have unsatisfactorily used ChatGPT is to replace the first three steps with a single-paragraph instruction to ChatGPT. This gives us a massive time-saving. But it requires a lot more work in the fourth step (the editing), as we try to get the piece back into the style we want.

Yesterday I published a brain-dump of an article idea, with the intention of seeing if we could do something less obvious with ChatGPT. Instead of getting the AI to write our article, let’s get it to write our outline.

Here’s my fairly incoherent dictated brain-dump again:

It’s barely a year since generative AI began to be used widely. However, in that time it’s come on immensely and behind-the-scenes even more so. However, many of us have yet to find the real benefits of it in writing or content creation because we are starting to use it in to replace what we do rather than to improve what we do. For example, rather than telling chat GPT to write this piece which would almost definitely have resulted in an article that would not have matched my own style anyway. Instead, I chose to dictate it using speech to text and then got chat GPT to sort it out by giving it prompts that I have picked up. Chat GPT is actually fantastic at rewriting stuff, and for that reason we tend not to use as much as we could, because we’ve already gone to the effort of writing the piece in the first place, and its just an additional step. However if we just loosely dictate we can really put it to work discovering the important parts of a piece that we have dictated and rewriting it into the appropriate style. What I’m going to do this week is to use this piece here that I have dictated which is rather rubbish and then see what chat GPT can do with this rather loose piece which took me less than 90 seconds to dictate of the top of my head.

Right, here we go. Hey, ChatGPT…

Deconstruct the ideas in the article above, converting it into a list of logical thoughts that take the reader through the argument in a step-by-step fashion and finish with a suggestion how to use the ideas.

  1. Generative AI’s Rapid Advancement: In the past year, generative AI has significantly evolved and improved.
  2. Misapplication in Writing and Content Creation: Many users are employing generative AI to replace, rather than enhance, their creative processes.
  3. Personal Example of Misuse: Directly using ChatGPT to write an entire piece can result in content that lacks the author’s unique style.
  4. Alternative Method: Dictating content using speech-to-text and then using ChatGPT to rework it allows for style retention and personal touch.
  5. ChatGPT’s Rewriting Capability: ChatGPT excels at reorganizing and refining dictated content.
  6. Reason for Underutilization: Writers often avoid using AI for rewriting because they perceive it as an extra step after the initial effort of writing.
  7. The Power of Loose Dictation: By dictating ideas loosely, AI can be effectively used to identify key concepts and reformat them appropriately.
  8. Planned Experiment: The author intends to transform a roughly dictated draft with ChatGPT to demonstrate its effectiveness.
  9. Suggestion for Application: Readers are encouraged to experiment with loosely dictating their ideas and using generative AI like ChatGPT to refine and enhance their content, exploring how this approach can improve their writing process.

Not bad. We’ve now done the first two steps in the traditional writing process, including the one we often skip but know we shouldn’t. And it’s taken us a couple of minutes. We might not precisely agree with the outline above, but it’s a heck of a good starting point. Now we can get to writing the article – ourselves – guided by the headings above.