stylish senior ethnic businessman drinking coffee and writing in notebook in cafe

3 Unusual Pieces Of Writing Advice To Improve Your Writing

We’re all looking for an edge.

Every writer and their coffee habit wants to know one thing.

What are the things you’re doing that I’m not? What habits do you have that I can learn from to improve my writing?

Or maybe it’s just me.

So over the years, I set out on a quest to learn and expanded the tools in my toolbox. But there are a few secret drawers that I don’t talk about.

Until now.

Here are three not-so-secret writing habits I use to improve my writing.

Don’t Just Read Aloud; Listen Along!

Every writer knows the ol’ “read it out loud” trick. And, hell, I’ve preached that gospel more times than I can count. But recently, I discovered a smoother, more melodic approach to editing. Instead of talking to yourself like a crazy person in a coffee shop (we’ve all seen those, haven’t we?), listen to what you write while you read along.

For instance, when I write something new, I pop it into and let the magic happen. I listen for the flow, the rhythm, the sweet, sweet cadence of words. It allows me to really get a feel for the piece and makes editing much easier. If you only read or read out loud, I’ve found I’ve missed some things. So the next thing you write, listen to it. It’s free. And take this habit to work, I use it on nearly all my emails… certainly the important ones. It helps me once again with the flow.

Edit After Publishing?

Here’s a juicy little secret in my writing process. I almost always further edit my pieces after they’ve been published. Gasp! I’m not trying to tick anyone off, mind you; it’s just that I know that clarity follows time. After I’ve published something, I know I’ll always find a better way to get my ideas across. So I do.

Don’t shy away from improving your work even after it’s out there in the wild. Trust me, after a couple of days have passed, you’ll have better ideas. Now, don’t get me wrong—I always lead with my best foot forward. This piece here, I’ve spent days working on. But hey, improvement takes time, and my writing is no exception. Embrace the beauty of editing… even after you publish, because, for some readers, it’ll still be the first time they read your work.

Bow To Your AI Overlord?

Don’t get me started on the never-ending barrage of articles about ChatGPT and its automatic AI brethren. If I have to read one more piece, I might just stuff myself into a cannon and launch myself to the moon! But here’s the deal, folks—AI is here, it’s not going anywhere, and pretending it doesn’t exist is like hiding under a very big, very cold rock, a la Patrick Star.

But I have a dirty little secret —I absolutely adore AI! It exposes me to new words quicker than I can say thesaurus. And that’s how I view AI… it’s a thesaurus, it gives me new ideas to say what I want to say.

Specifically, how I use it is I write a new piece, then throw it into AI and ask it to rewrite my article using a different voice. And what I like about it is it shows me new ways to express my thoughts. It’s like the sprite remix of my words and gives me a new flavor. If I find something particularly fun, I ask myself how can I expand on the idea? How can I make it my own? And Voilà! A free editor, my friends.

Now, I hear some of you whispering in the back, “But will AI replace my job?” Let me put that fear to rest. AI is a brilliant tool, but it’s not a creative genius. It’s not human. It can only regurgitate thoughts and not divine them like you and I can. If you have AI write an article start to finish, good luck on making it a fun read. It won’t happen, that’s why writers shouldn’t fear AI, it can’t replace you.

But still, the technology is out there, and for me, having AI and not using it is like having access to a calculator and deciding to do division by longhand. You can still do it, but you’re missing out on saving time.

So write your article first. You’re a writer, after all, it’s fun. But when you’re done, don’t be afraid to have AI remix it. It’s going to help you quickly discover new turns of phrase that you would have likely missed. If it shows you an idea you like, play with it! Make it your own. It’s a tool after all. And isn’t writing, ultimately, figuring out the best way to express your thoughts? I think so.

I think AI is just one more tool you can use to help you create stronger pieces. For better or worse, AI is here to stay. So instead of sticking your head in the sand and hoping you’ll find a magic lamp to wish it away. Learn how to use the tools… that’s how you become a master craftsman.

Please like, comment share and tell me what you think. Do you do any of this?

54 thoughts on “3 Unusual Pieces Of Writing Advice To Improve Your Writing

  1. I’m with you… until the AI.
    I’m a voracious reader and the thought that a computer will be taking over the creative process from authors makes me sad. It may be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

    1. That’s totally fine! For me, that’s why I say write your article first so it’s all you then use AI just to see other ways to spin it. For me – I still consider choosing the right words to ultimately be the creative process – but to each their own. As always, I appreciate you reading!

  2. I’m with you on the editing after posting trait, I’m definitely one for doing this. Regarding AI I’m something of a luddite when it comes to this, I know it’s there and what it does, but that’s about it 😂 I love that text to speech tool you referred to by the way. Great post as ever my friend.

    1. Thank you so much for reading! And that’s ok! That’s why I say write your article first – that way it’s your ideas, but for me, having an AI function as an editor has been invaluable to me!

  3. Yes! I discovered listening to manuscript to work so much better in catching errors. I’m just learning how to use AI.

  4. Microsoft Word used to have a text reader that I used to use but then they did away with it or something. I appreciate the reader link you provided!

  5. Found this post most helpful. Still a Luddite when it comes to AI and embracing it. Scares me a little TBH. Not your fault!! Thanks for sharing this info.

  6. I’ll never let goddamn robots write my blog. First it is self checkouts, next it is writing books, where will it end? Just kidding. I tried Google’s version and I found it annoying. The things I proofread the most are the things of when I am angry. I believe you look foolish if you have an error in the middle of a soapbox diatribe. And I go back and tighten up poems all the time.

  7. Interesting. I never read aloud any of my posts. Maybe it shows, hehe. I do occasionally edit after I published. W
    Many textbooks get a second edition. Why not posts or stories?

    The AI I don’t understand. It’s personal. I want my writing to have a personal touch. With all its flaws. If AI starts blurting out words I would never use, that wouldn’t be me. However, I find your approach interesting. I might use it to see the possibilities, and then not post the result.

    Should we indicate when AI was involved in our writing? It’s a big debate in academia currently… To the extent that AI has been made co-author on papers. Bizarre, huh?

    1. I understand – for me – I think if you’re using AI like a thesaurus, then I wouldn’t include it in the credits because you’re still writing all the piece. But for me – if you let AI write all or half your work, I’d include it. IMO especially comedy and fiction, what the AI creates isn’t even that good anyways, so you’re better off writing it all on your own. Still I have found that using it just to learn new ways to say things or see things you’ve never seen before, is immensely helpful.

      Like I said – just another tool in the tool shed. If you use it to help you improve what you created is different than using it to create.

      1. It’s certainly an interesting tool in many ways. I’ve seen people generate chapter ideas for instance, and then they wrote the chapters themselves. That is obviously also in a way original and creative.

        So far I never managed to get into AI platforms, especially when it was first booming a couple of months ago, so I stopped trying.

  8. I do read my work. Then I eread it a million times – not a million but maybe a few. I love it since it does these things: catch weird spellings, grammar, and plot holes. My editor and publisher smash my work until I am sick of my manuscript. Which I re-read the manuscript “again” via ereader to make certain the editor and chief editor have it right … ! I usually am at nausea stage so I don’t re-edit after the publication and ChatGP seems to be the ‘thing’ and worrisome to me is it will take over the book industry.

  9. That was a great find, popping your text into the site and having them read it back to you. I might fall asleep, then I KNOW my novel needs work, right. LOL. AI, not ready to go there. If I do, it would become a bad habit. Take a coffee break, let them do the writing. Oh NO!

  10. I’m not sure I understand how to use the AI to help like that. And I’d love to try it, because it seems super helpful. But I also only have the free version, so that may be why. *shrug*

  11. Wao..! It was so refreshing to read positive comments in use of AI as a weiting tool. really..
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Glad you enjoyed – like for me – I think If you write your piece too – run it through AI just to see another way of expressing your thoughts – it’s still writing to me – I don’t take it word for word I just see what I like and usually is spawns a new train of thought. It actually adds time to the writing process but you get a stronger piece – I’m currently figuring out the kinks myself

  12. Sure. I will definitely try it. I truly appreciate your open mindedness.. this is the beauty of a creative mind, it sees nothing as an obstacle ✨✨

  13. Loved the honesty on using AI… I feel it is a great tool to learn new words and write in a flow.. this article is very helpful to spread awareness around how human and AI can learn together from each other.

  14. I’m happy to be among lovely people who love the art of writing and the beauty in it. When i hear my own voice while I pen it gives me rest, peace within that I don’t die with unspoken words.

  15. I am happy to see we share some of your tips. I do edit my texts after I published them. A couple of days later, a couple of months and even a couple of years later.
    Since I don’t consider myself a writer and English is not my first language, AI is a wonderful tool when I am not happy with the way a wrote a frase.

  16. I had a very long debate about this in a Medium comment and I swear I said those very same words about AI xD

    People give it too much credit. AI is made not born. And It is MADE by the human hands.

    Creations will never surpass their creators.

    Also, surprisingly, I do all the things you said subconsciously xD I guess I’m on the right road.

  17. Great piece, I think many people are misunderstanding AI and its role in the creative space and you have put it in a good way here. Having AI shouldn’t stop creativity but rather make the process less complicated.

  18. I do all of these things and so appreciate the validation. I just said the other day that I don’t know what the big fuss is with AI. I use it like I do with google or a thesaurus. As a writer, I wouldn’t plagiarize from one of those but it helps me when I get stuck or want to hear a different perspective. Sometimes, it sparks an idea that was neither AI OR me originally. It’s a tool that as writers we can toss into our toolbox and use occasionally. Thank you for your article!

  19. Great post, thank you! I will have to try the reading aloud thing…

    I must admit, I cringe when I see a reference to AI, but you bring up some valid points in that regard. Not saying you’ve changed my mind, but I’m willing to keep an open mind and try it. 😉

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